New Delhi, Jan 19: The concept of deemed universities will be abolished in India, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal said on Tuesday, a day after the government moved an affidavit in the Supreme Court seeking derecognition of 44 such institutions.
"It is a policy decision that all the deemed universities will finally go," Sibal told reporters at the 10th Editor’s Conference on social sector issues here. Sibal’s comments comes a day after the central government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that the recognition of 44 deemed universities must be taken away.
About two lakh students from these deemed universities, which face the prospect of derecognition, were today assured by the government that they would all get degrees.
The government, which accepted the findings of an expert committee on the functioning of deemed universities and submitted them to the Supreme Court yesterday, has left it to the court to take a decision on the issue.
"Not a single child, not a single student will be adversely affected. Students of that university will get a university degree," HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said addressing the Social Editors Conference here.
He was replying to a question as to what would happen to the future of students studying in 44 deemed universities that have been recommended for being stripped of the status by the expert committee.
Nearly two lakh students are pursuing higher studies in these 44 institutions in 13 states which have been recommended for non-continuation of the deemed status as neither on past performance nor on their promise for the future have the attributes to retain the deemed status.
"We are restructuring the higher education sector. Hopefully, the deemed university concept will go," he said adding not a single deemed university has been derecognised so far.
"The Government has accepted the findings of the expert committee and submitted its findings to the Supreme Court which will decide the course of action to be taken," he said.
"The Supreme Court will decide the course of action...we will take care of all the students (of the deemed universities)," Sibal said.
An expert committee headed by P N Tandon has reviewed the functioning of 126 of the 130 deemed universities. It has found 44 deemed universities unworthy for the status. Asked whether the unfit 44 deemed universities would be reverted to the status of college, he said, "I do not want to preempt what the Supreme Court will decide."
The matter will come before the Supreme Court on January 25. "Not a single student’s interest will be jeopardised. University degree will be given to them," he said, allaying any fear among the students and their parents.
The committee has found the failed deemed universities were being run as family fiefdoms rather than on academic considerations. The committee found 44 other such institutes having deficiencies and suggested that they should be given three years time to rectify. It found 38 others as up to mark.
The government had set up a task force to suggest measures for implementing the recommendations of the committee. The task force said the failed deemed universities would be allowed to go back as affiliated colleges of their original universities.
Sibal said the government has started the process of reforms in higher education. Under the reforms, it will create a National Council for Higher Education as an overarching body which will subsume existing regulatory institutions like UGC, AICTE, DEC and NCTE.
Under the new regime in higher education, the concept of deemed university could be abolished.
Sibal outlined the proposed bills for setting up of an accreditation body and having special tribunals for deciding matters related to disputes in campuses and having a law to check malpractices in institutes.
He said the country needs 30,000 to 40,000 more colleges and nearly 1,000 universities to achieve the target of 30 per cent enrolment rate in higher education by 2030. The present enrolment rate is 12.4 per cent.