Deemed varsities: UGC sets up panel


New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Friday set up a five-member committee to conduct physical verification of seven universities whose deemed category status has come under question. The development followed a direction by the Supreme Court which had sought physical verification of infrastructure and faculty strength of deemed universities, which were black-listed by P N Tandon Committee.
At the full commission meeting on Friday, UGC decided to give the committee, which would be headed by its secretary, a month's time to submit its report. "The committee would point out the deficiencies and ask the varsities to act on them within a stipulated period before a second verification is carried out to ascertain their progress," an official said.

The Tandon Committee had originally blacklisted 41 deemed universities. Subsequently, in its report submitted to the Supreme Court last month, UGC had zeroed in on these seven institutes who still do not fulfill such criteria. Officials said the fate of the rest 34 universities which were given a clean chit by the UGC will be decided by the HRD Ministry.

The Supreme Court had on October 26 had directed physical verification of all the universities as it ruled out the suggestion of verification through photographs and videography, saying it was not an acceptable mode of determining the credentials. The Court had asked the UGC to complete within three months the physical verification of 41 deemed universities.

It said after completing the procedure of verification and rectification of deficiencies, the UGC will file its report both to the Centre and the apex court. The Supreme Court had earlier this year directed the UGC to examine all the reports of the 41 deemed to be universities and advise the central government. These universities had gone to the Supreme Court after they were put in the 'C' category in 2009 by the Tandon Committee. Earlier, it was 44 deemed universities which were found to be unfit for the status by Tandon committee. However, the number came down to 41 after two of them surrendered the deemed varsity tax, while the third one was converted into centre of national importance



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