Know about 'Deemed-to-be-Universities' Scandal

UGC, on direction from the Supreme Court, has recently restricted 123 deemed to be universities from the word 'University' in their names. The Universities which have been forced to do this are of very prominent names, such as IISc Bangalore, BIT Mesra, IIFT Delhi, etc. These institutes are some of the top ranking institutes in their respective places and fields; the IISC Bangalore was even going to be declared as the best university in the country in the NIRD rankings 2017. IISC is also one of the institutes, apart from the IITs, which has found place in International Rankings

What is actually "deemed to be a University"?
According to the official MHRD website, "An Institution of Higher Education, other than universities, working at a very high standard in a specific area of study, can be declared by the Central Government on the advice of the UGC as an Institution Deemed-to-be-university." Institutions which are subjected to this status enjoy academic status and privileges of a full-fledged university.

Requirements for achieving this status:
For the institution to be eligible for receiving the status of "Deemed-to-be-University'', it must fulfill some requirements -

  1. Has demonstrated the characteristics of a university through diverse curricular provisions, contribution to teaching; and, verifiable research output.
  2. Has under graduate and at least five post graduate departments in existence for 3 years with research programs.
  3. Shall be engaged in research activity, publications and scholarly works and shall have doctoral/post-doctoral research programs.
  4. Shall have adequate number of full-time fully qualified faculty for teaching and research as per UGC/concerned Statutory Council(s) norms.
  5. Shall possess the necessary infrastructure for quality research and seamless access to modern information resources.
  6. Shall have a proven record of securing merit-based extramural research funding from various public/private agencies.
  7. Shall have a record of extension services and societal engagement.
  8. Each constituent unit included in the original proposal shall have continuous accreditation for two cycles with the highest grade offered and also gets valid highest grade for third cycle, either from NAAC and/or all its eligible courses shall be accredited continuously for two cycles (five year each) with the highest grade offered and also gets highest grade in the third cycle, which is currently valid, by NBA or an accreditation agency recognized by the Commission from time to time.
  9. Shall undertake not to offer any program in the distance mode.

The recent news on such Universities:
It is not that alarming that the Supreme Court has taken such decision. The Commission has just asked such institutions to drop the word 'University' from their names. As a result, these institutions can never use the word 'University' as a suffix in their names. This decision has been inflicted on 123 such institutions.

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