Seven deemed universities found unfit by UGC face uncertain future

Students of seven deemed universities found unfit by a UGC panel are staring at an uncertain future. Four of them are from Tamil Nadu, two from Haryana and one from Rajasthan.

These are Vinayaka Mission's Research Foundation, Salem; Academy of Maritime Education & Training, Karathur; Bharath Institute of Higher Education & Research, Chennai; Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Technology & Science, Thanjavur (all from Tamil Nadu) and Maharshi Markandeshwar University, Mullana- Ambala and Manav Rachna International University, Faridabad (from Haryana). Institute of Advanced Studies in Education, Sardarshahr, is the lone institute from Rajasthan.

However, a final decision on their fate will be taken by the Supreme Court. The HRD ministry will now submit the report to the apex court. UGC had sought time till September 30 to complete its work on the report. "The UGC review committee's report reinforces the need to review all deemed universities ignoring the arbitrary A, B and C classifications of the Tandon Committee and in the process clean the existing mess in the deemed university system," said S Vaidyasubramaniam of Sastra University.

UGC sources said recommendation of withdrawal of deemed university status does not mean these institutes will close down. They can continue as educational institutions but will have to get affiliated to some university. "Future of students will not be compromised," a source said.

Seven of these institutions were in the list of 41 deemed universities found unfit by Tandon Committee in 2009. But according to the UGC report, five years later, 34 of the 41 have made enough improvements to continue as deemed universities. However, the committee has recommended physical verification in case of a few of the 34 deemed universities cleared.

Tested on nine parameters by the Tandon Committee, these seven universities had scored poorly. Vinayaka Mission scored 2 marks, Bharath 13, Academy of Maritime Education & Training got 3, Poonaiyah Ramajayam zero, Maharishi Markandeshwar 10 marks, Manav Rachna 8 and Institute of Advanced Studies could get seven marks.

Nine parameters on which they were evaluated are consideration of the idea of a university; whether all their present academic activities and programmes could have been carried out without being a deemed university; conformity to the provisions of the UGC Act and UGC guidelines; aspects of governance; quality of and innovations in teaching-learning process; research output; doctoral and other research degree programme; faculty resource, admission processes and award of degrees.
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