HRD ministry panel to help regulate deemed universities

The Union human resource development (HRD) ministry has set up a three-member committee in line with a Supreme Court. It has been done in order to examine the working of deemed universities and suggest an “oversight” and “regulatory mechanism” for these institutions within four months.

THE NEED FOR THE PANEL 

The Supreme Court last month cancelled the degrees awarded by four of them as they were conducting distance education programmes in technical education without necessary approval.

It asked the government to set up a panel of eminent persons who have held high positions in the field of education, investigation, administration or law at national level within one month, to examine issues related to distance education, deemed universities and suggest a regulatory mechanism for them.

WHO’S WHO IN THE PANEL 

The committee is headed by former chief justice of Patna high court L Narasimhan Reddy. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu , additional secretary in the HRD Ministry and Anil Sahasrabuddhe , chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) are the other two members.

JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Rajasthan, Advanced Studies in Education, Rajasthan (IASE), Allahabad Agricultural Institute, (AAI) and Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu, (VMRF)— were conducting distance engineering programmes without necessary approvals, including that from the University Grants Commission (UGC) or the AICTE.

THE BACKGROUND 

The Supreme Court last month had suspended the degrees awarded by them between the period 2001 and 2005 and cancelled the degrees awarded to students admitted after 2005.

Sources said apart from finding out how these four universities were given post facto approvals it will also look into the overall functioning of the deemed universities in the country. It is likely to submit its report within four months, officials said.

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