The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that it has taken a decision to frame "criteria" to deal with the issue of recognition of private universities across the country after consulting with all stakeholders, including UGC.
"The Union of India has taken a decision that the proper criteria or guidelines should be laid down after consulting all the stakeholders so that the issue is settled once and for all," the counsel, appearing for ministry of human resources development (HRD), told a bench of justices Dipak Misra and Vikramjit Sen.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the HRD ministry, said that the Centre is planning to consult bodies like UGC and AICTE and the criteria can be laid down within three months. Meanwhile, the bench asked the Centre to apprise it of steps taken on the UGC report relating to inspection carried out on 41 deemed universities.
"The Centre is obliged to take a decision," the bench said and allowed the counsel for deemed universities to respond to the report of the Centre after it is filed in the apex court registry. Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for UGC, said eight deemed universities had been inspected. Out of the eight, seven, despite certain deficiencies, can be granted recognition for one more year, he said, adding that the eighth -- Gurukul Kangra Vishwavidyalaya -- lacks teaching and infrastructural facilities.
Senior advocate P H Parekh, appearing for Gurukul Kangra Vishwavidyalaya, said that the government aid has been stopped and moreover, the institution neither has any management quota nor it levies any capitation fees. "You cannot claim grant as a matter of right," the bench said and asked the university to respond to the Centre's report which would to be filed in the next three weeks. Senior advocates Rajeev Dhawan and Vikas Singh, appearing for some private universities, said that they are not opposed to the statutory physical verification of the universities by the authorities but the stigma of adverse grading like 'B' and 'C' should must go.