New Delhi: Under fire over alleged corruption in granting deemed university status to private educational institutes, the ministry of human resource development (HRD), which oversees education, on Friday ordered that the fee committees of state governments fix and regulate fees charged by such institutions.
In a meeting chaired by HRD minister Kapil Sibal on Friday, the decision also makes it binding on deemed universities and other state universities receiving financial aid from the University Grants Commission (UGC), India’s top regulator that releases grants to universities, to declare details on faculty, infrastructure and grants on their websites within the next three months, failing which the grants will be discontinued. So far, fee committees of state governments could only fix and regulate fees of institutions and universities run by the central or state governments.
Tough talking: Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
Deemed universities were largely out of their purview.
In the last four years of the previous United Progressive Alliance government—even as legislation to both regulate private colleges and open the education sector to foreign investment were stalled—the UGC granted deemed university status to a record 34 institutions. Out of this, only six are government-run, while the rest are private institutions.
“We have written to the ministry objecting to this mushrooming of deemed universities,’’ said Thomas Joseph, president of the All India Federation of University Teachers’ Organisations, a teachers’ union.
UGC chairman Sukhdeo Thorat declined to comment on the issue.