Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Deemed Universities can start courses without getting UGC permission

The Hindu News

In a clarification sent out couple of days back, UGC has said that Deemed Universities can start any course they want (such as B.A., B.Sc., M.A., M.Sc. or M.Com.) without prior approval from UGC.

This is exactly the opposite of what they supposedly wrote to the Deemed Universities a few days back - wherein they had said Deemed Universities must give an "undertaking that no course will be started without its nod."

So let us recount what has happened over the last 10 days:
  1. All Technical Institutions are under the control of AICTE.
  2. But wait... once the Technical Institution becomes a Deemed University, that institution is not exactly under the control of AICTE, but rather under UGC.
  3. So what can be done if the DU is found to be violating the AICTE norms? AICTE cannot take unilateral action. They can inspect DU's premises... but not on their own. They need UGC persons to accompany them. AICTE can find out what is wrong with the DU, but cannot act on their own. Must pass on the info to UGC and UGC will act on them.
  4. UGC sends a letter to all DUs asking them to follow AICTE norms, and that they give an undertaking that they will not start any course on their own without getting UGC permission first.
  5. Then very soon UGC sends another letter that supercedes all the earlier letters, allowing DUs to start whatever course (but non-technical) they want without getting UGC's permission.
Does it mean DUs can start whatever technical course they want without getting AICTE/UGC approval? No clarity.

What is the current status regarding the technical courses started by DUs without AICTE approval? No answer. In fact this was the major issue on which the students fought pitched street battles in a few DUs in Tamil Nadu.

How soon will AICTE and UGC undertake joint inspections of DUs as per the Chennai High Court Order? What will their action be if they find flagrant violation as in the case of Vinayaka Mission institutions? No clarity.

Why is UGC so pathetic? Can't they think clearly and then send out letters once and for all? Are they being pressured by DU lobby to let them off hook?

If Private Universities were considered an aberration and a whole bunch of them abolished by a Supreme Court order couple of years back, why are DUs, which for all practical purposes are Private Universities, being allowed to run unchecked?

All through this muddle Human Resource Development Ministry keeps mum.

How can we expect India to produce better engineers tomorrow?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

UGC wakes up to Deemed Universities' abuses

After Chennai High Court order asking AICTE and UGC to undertake joint inspection of Deemed Universities' precincts, UGC has written a letter to all the DUs asking for an "undertaking that no course will be started without its [UGC's] nod".

I think, the wording has to be stricter than this. DUs should be threatened with dire action if any violation is found - such as immediate revoking of DU status and relegation to a mere college status under respective local Universities.

In 2005, UGC had sent out a similar letter to DUs, but out of 103 DUs, only 40 or so seem to have written back to UGC. DUs will continue to flout the norms, unless some are punished severely and others are told to behave.

The Hindu News

Saturday, July 15, 2006

AICTE cannot take direct action against deemed varsities

In what can only be termed as a victory of sorts to the erring Deemed Universitites, Chennai High Court has ruled that AICTE cannot act directly against the erring DUs, but can only bring the errors to the notice of UGC.

The Hindu News

AICTE cannot also inspect the DU's premises on its own. It needs to include a representative from the UGC.

If this is what the Court thinks, why do we need AICTE? It can as well be disbanded and the money allocated to UGC to build its own expertise to inspect and regulate the Deemed Universities and Engineering Colleges.

Actually, the problems lies with the Central Government. They should regularise the roles of AICTE, UGC, MCI and so on through proper unambiguous legislation. The executives are once again relagating their powers and allowing the judiciary to control various aspects of the administration.