Colleges vie for deemed status

UGC has recently re-opened the process of examin- ing the deemed varsity applica- tions. This is report- edly due to “politi- cal pressure” .

After a gap of two years, the “deemed universities” have come back into focus. Several top engineering colleges in the state are vying for the “deemed” status and have submitted applications to the University Grants Commission.

The UGC had stopped processing deemed university applications from 2009, based on a report submitted by the Tandon committee, which blacklisted 44 deemed universities across the country, including the one in Andhra Pradesh — Vignan University — for failing to comply with the norms on faculty and infrastructure.

However, the UGC has recently re-opened the process of examining the deemed varsity applications. This is reportedly due to “political pressure” from the managements. The move came as a surprise, given that the case of prospective blacklisting of 44 deemed universities is still pending with the Supreme Court.

These institutions are desperate to acquire a deemed status, to enjoy autonomy in matters of admission and fees. Interestingly, all these institutes are professional colleges that offer engineering, pharmacy, MBA and MCA courses.

There is a huge demand for these courses in the state, and certain institutions are frantically trying to obtain “deemed” status.

Prominent among these are CBIT, Gokaraju Rangaraju, JBIT, MNR, Srinidhi, St.Mary’s and RGIT-Nandyal.

Many of these institutions are considered among the top 10 engineering institutes in the state.

Apart from them, the Sweekar Rehabilitation Institute, Secunderabad, Gayatri Vidya Parishad, Montessori Mahila Kalasala and Pulla Reddy Engineering college had also applied for “deemed” status.

The expert committees of UGC and AICTE completed the inspection process of all these institutes in 2008 and 2009 and recommended them for the “deemed” status. Even the state government issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for this purpose. When the stage was set for according a formal “deemed” status to these institutions during the academic year 2009-10, the scenario changed with Mr Kapil Sibal taking over as the HRD minister from Mr Arjun Singh.

Mr Sibal ordered a highlevel enquiry into all the “deemed” universities and also directed the UGC to keep the new applications on hold.

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