Deemed universities, whose derecognition is sought by the central
government, have decided to get together to float two lobby bodies
and implead themselves in the case being heard by the Supreme Court.
According to Ishari K Ganesh, chancellor
of Vels University here, two associations - one representing the
interests of deemed universities in the state and the other a larger
body to represent the interests of deemed universities in south
India - will be formed and will implead themselves in the Supreme
of the 'doomed' universities in a meeting have called for the review
of the Tandon Committee report based on which the central government
has recommended withdrawal of deemed university status given by the
University Grants Commission (UGC).
M.K. Padmanabhan, vice chancellor of Dr.
MGR Educational and Research Institute, said the centre constituted
two panels - the UGC committee and the Tandon Committee - to look
into the functioning of the universities.
He said the UGC panel consisting of
educational experts visited the campuses, while the Tandon panel
just saw the power point presentations shown by the universities.
The UGC has accorded deemed university
status to Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth and has given it five years time to
In Tamil Nadu a sizeable number of deemed
universities are run by politicians and their relatives and
has become a lucrative business in the state that turns out more
than 100,000 engineers every year.
Though many of the deemed universities
charge high fees, they lack the necessary infrastructure and are run
like family businesses. Students are subjected to a strict regime.
For example, girls and boys studying in the same college are not
allowed to talk to each other within the premises.
The violent protests are seen as a result
of the pent-up anger of the students who are not treated properly
and subjected to a strict regime.
On Wednesday, the Salem-based Vinayaka
Missions University and the Thanjavur-based Ponnaiyah Ramajayam
Institute of Science and Technology University declared closure
after violence broke out in their campuses and spilled into the
The central government Monday told the
Supreme Court that it was all set to divest 44 universities of their
special "deemed university" status as they were being run as "family
fiefdoms" rather than institutions of academic excellence.
Appearing for the central government,
Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium made this submission to a bench
of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Mukundkam Sharma during the
hearing of a 2006 lawsuit, questioning the misuse of the deemed
university status by a glut of educational
Subramanium also told the bench that the
government, however, has decided to let these universities revert
back to become affiliated colleges of their original universities.
This is to avoid jeopardising the career
of nearly 200,000 students studying in these institutions across 13
states, he told the court.
In an affidavit filed in the court, the
human resource development
ministry said the government has also accepted the recommendations
made by the high-powered P.N. Tandon committee, formed to probe the
conditions of the deemed universities across the country.
"The Review Committee came across several
aberrations in the functioning of some of the institutions deemed to
be universities. It found undesirable management architecture where
families rather than professional academics controlled the
functioning of institutions," the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, most of the
44 deemed universities, failing to maintain their high standard of
academic excellence, were offering post-graduate and undergraduate
courses that are "fragmented with concocted nomenclatures" and seats
"disproportionately increased" beyond the actual intake capacity.
The bench, during an earlier hearing in
July last year had questioned the need for having deemed
universities in the country in the wake of their mushrooming growth
amid complaints that instead of imparting quality
they have been fleecing students by commercialising it.
"Why deemed university at all? Don't you
think the status of deemed university should be abolished in all the
states?" the bench had asked, while directing the centre to file a
detailed affidavit on the deemed universities and their conditions
in the country.
The bench adjourned the
matter after a brief perusal of the affidavit.