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HRD ministry sets up committee to suggest ways to regulate deemed universities

The panel will suggest a regulatory road map for deemed universities and is expected to submit its report to the government within four months.

education Updated: Dec 05, 2017 18:04 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Last month the Supreme Court cancelled degrees awarded by four deemed universities to students admitted after 2005.
Last month the Supreme Court cancelled degrees awarded by four deemed universities to students admitted after 2005.(Representative photo)

The Union human resource development (HRD) ministry on Monday set up a three-member committee in line with a Supreme Court order to examine the working of deemed universities and suggest an “oversight” and “regulatory mechanism” for these institutions within four months.

The Supreme Court last month cancelled the degrees awarded by four of them as they were conducting distance education programmes in technical education without necessary approval.

It asked the government to set up a panel of eminent persons who have held high positions in the field of education, investigation, administration or law at national level within one month, to examine issues related to distance education, deemed universities and suggest a regulatory mechanism for them.

The committee is headed by former chief justice of Patna high court L Narasimhan Reddy. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu , additional secretary in the HRD Ministry and Anil Sahasrabuddhe , chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) are the other two members.

JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Rajasthan, Advanced Studies in Education, Rajasthan (IASE), Allahabad Agricultural Institute, (AAI) and Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu, (VMRF)— were conducting distance engineering programmes without necessary approvals, including that from the University Grants Commission (UGC) or the AICTE.

The Supreme Court last month had suspended the degrees awarded by them between the period 2001 and 2005 and cancelled the degrees awarded to students admitted after 2005.

Read more: SC cancels engineering degrees obtained through distance learning since 2001

Sources said apart from finding out how these four universities were given post facto approvals it will also look into the overall functioning of the deemed universities in the country. It is likely to submit its report within four months, officials said.

“The committee is likely to examine the issues whether more institutes were given permission by UGC to conduct distance education programme in technical education. The committee will also suggest a road map for strengthening and setting up of oversight and regulatory mechanism in the field of higher education and allied issues. The HRD ministry will examine the report and action will be taken accordingly,” said a senior HRD official.

The Supreme Court had also restrained “all deemed-to-be universities to carry on any courses in distance education mode from the academic session 2018-2019 onwards unless and until it is permissible to conduct such courses in distance education mode and specific permissions are granted by the concerned statutory/regulatory authorities in respect of each of those courses and unless the off-campus centres/study centres are individually inspected and found adequate by the concerned statutory authorities”.

First Published: Dec 05, 2017 09:14 IST

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