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UGC warning to institutes: Drop ‘university’ from name or lose ‘deemed’ status

The first of the two UGC letters was addressed to seven institutes -- including Pune’s Symbiosis International University, and the Bengaluru-based Christ University and Jain University -- directing them to change their names.

education Updated: Dec 02, 2017 14:48 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Deemed Universities,UGC,University
The deemed status is granted to higher education institutes doing quality work in a particular stream.(Anupam Prashant Minz/HT File Photo)

Leading educational institutes such as Symbiosis, Manipal and Teri could lose their “deemed to be” status if they fail to convey by Thursday their acceptance of a University Grants Commission (UGC) directive to drop “university” from their names.

The higher education regulator on Wednesday issued two separate orders to 29 deemed universities, where hundreds of thousands of students are enrolled.

The compliance report should be emailed by 4pm on Thursday or “necessary action would be initiated against the institutions, which may include recommending withdrawal of the declaration” notifying them as deemed-to-be universities, the UGC said in the two letters, copies of which are with Hindustan Times.

Wednesday’s directives stem from a Supreme Court order of November 3, asking the UGC to stop deemed-to-be universities from using the word “university” in their names.

The first of the two UGC letters was addressed to seven institutes -- including Pune’s Symbiosis International University, and the Bengaluru-based Christ University and Jain University -- directing them to change their names.

While granting them the deemed status on the UGC’s recommendation, the government had used the word “university” with their names.

The second directive was issued to Manipal University, Delhi’s Teri University, KLE University in Belagavi, and 19 other institutes. They have been asked to drop the word university and “revert” to the names notified by the government at the time of granting of deemed-to-be status.

Manipal University, for instance, was registered as Manipal Academy of Higher Education and KLE University as KLE Academy of Higher Education and Research.

The UGC wrote to 123 institutes twice -- on November 10 and 13 -- to comply with the SC order within 15 days. Of these, 29 institutions didn’t respond.

The Energy and Resources Institute, better known as Teri, is ready for name change.

“It has taken us time because we are going through an approval process to change the name back to Teri School of Advanced Studies. That is the name we had in 1999 when we started,” Teri University pro vice chancellor Rajiv Seth said.

They changed the name to Teri University in 2006 because the UGC allowed it, he said, adding, “Now that the SC has ruled that we cannot use the word university, we will change it back by tomorrow.”

After the November 10 UGC circular, Manipal University decided to change the name to Manipal Academy of Higher Education, registrar Dr Narayana Sabhahit said.

“The process of changing the name will be completed before the prescribed deadline… We will be communicating the decision to UGC shortly,” he said. “I would also like to highlight this is just a change of name and our status as deemed to be university remains unchanged.”

Symbiosis did not respond to emails sent by HT.

The deemed status is granted to higher education institutes doing quality work in a particular stream. For instance, Symbosis specialises in management studies and Manipal in engineering.

These institutes can’t be called universities because their expertise is not multidisciplinary but the deemed tag brings academic status and privileges of a university.

First Published: Nov 29, 2017 23:33 IST