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Deemed universities will go; students won’t: Sibal
Published on 20 Jan. 2010 12:20 AM IST
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The concept of deemed universities will be abolished in India but none of the students will suffer, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal said Tuesday, a day after the government moved an affidavit in the Supreme Court seeking derecognition of 44 such institutions. “It is a policy decision that all the deemed universities will finally go,” Sibal told reporters at the 10th Editor’s Conference on social sector issues here. “Let me also assure that no student will suffer. All of them will get university degrees,” the minister assured tens of thousands of students who may suffer if the central government derecognises the 44 universities. Sibal’s comments come a day after the central government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that the recognition of 44 deemed universities must be taken away. “The concept of deemed universities from the country will go in the near future and this is part of the reform process. We are putting in place the required legislations,” Sibal added. The country has nearly 100 deemed universities that function as stand-alone universities but don’t give affiliation to other institutions. Talking about the impact on students, Sibal said: “Technically, we haven’t derecognised any deemed university. We have moved the Supreme Court with an affidavit and a report by the expert committee on deemed universities. Let me assure, no student will suffer. “We are going to take care of all students. And government’s intention is not to put any student in problem. All students will get a university degree,” the minister assured. Sibal said the government had accepted the findings of the committee on the derecognition of 44 deemed universities. “The court will tell us what course of action we will take,” the minister added. Clarifying the stand, higher education secretary Bibha Puri Das said that to retain the deemed university status, an institution needs to maintain certain quality, which was “found wanting” in the 44. She said as such these institutions will not be locked. They will remain as educational institutions but “need to take affiliations from recognised universities”. Asked about fixing responsibility over people who have given these institutions the deemed university status, Sibal said: “I am looking forward for bringing education reforms. Don’t want to take any name. It’s not on my agenda.” Asked if Arjun Singh, during whose tenure a majority of these institutions got the deemed status, was to be blamed, Sibal said: “I don’t want to take any names. I don’t want to look backward. We are on the cusp of an educational reform and I am going to do that. I am looking forward.” Of the 44 deemed universities, against whom the central government wants action through the apex court, 16 are in Tamil Nadu. Jaypee Institute of Information, Noida, Gurukul Kangri Biswavidyalaya, Haridwar, National Museum Institute of History of Art, New Delhi, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth in Puducherry, Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute, Chennai are some of the institutions who are likely to lose their deemed university status. Violence in Tamil Nadu Violence broke out on Tuesday in one of the 17 educational institutions in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry set to lose their deemed university status, as panic gripped about 50,000 students studying in these colleges. With the Centre deciding to strip 44 educational institutions countrywide of their deemed university status, the managements of some of such universities in Tamil Nadu -- some of them which are just a year old -- are planning to move the court. Students of Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, near here, damaged computers and boycotted classes, after their institution figured in the list. As estimated 50,000 students are studying in 16 deemed universities in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry, mostly run by politicians. Bharat University, for example, is run by the children of Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting S Jagatratshagan. “The institutions were neither served any show cause notice nor were given any time to rectify alleged discrepancies,” said Ishari K Ganesh, son of late Isari Velan, who was a Parliamentary Secretary during late M G R government and Chancellor of Vel’s University. “Most of the universities are just about a year old and were given deemed university status after inspection of facilities and infrastructure by University Grants Commission panel,” he said. AIADMK MP M Thambidurai, patron of St Peter’s Institute of Higher Education Chennai, refused to comment on the institution figuring in the blacklist. claiming he did not run any college.

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