UGC raises bar for Deemed To Be University tag

Pranita Roy
Tuesday, 5 March 2019

“Now, the UGC has realised that many such institutions are acting against the law. Therefore, to ensure enough infrastructure, manpower, facilities and courses are authentic,” Shinde added.

Pune: To obtain the status of ‘Deemed to be University,’ an educational institute now has to be 20 years old. This new eligibility criteria has been brought in the new University Grants Commission (UGC) Deemed To Be University Regulations, 2019.

Previously, the institutes were conferred status based on infrastructure and quality of education. These regulations have replaced the UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2016. 

According to the new regulations, “an institution applying to be declared as an Institution Deemed to be University should be in existence for not less than 20 years. Further, it should have valid accreditation by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with at least 3.26 CGPA for three consecutive cycles or if in case of technical institution, two-thirds of the eligible technical programmes accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). It should also rank among the top 50 in any specific category or among the top 100 of overall ranking of National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF).” 

Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute Vice-Chancellor Vasant Shinde stated that the move has come a bit late, but it has now started and will have the institutes on their toes. “In some earlier cases, it was found that some institutions would call themselves as ‘Deemed to be University’, but would actually not have any proper infrastructure or faculty, but function from a small office. 

They used to operate only for the sake of offering degrees to students,” said Shinde. 

“Now, the UGC has realised that many such institutions are acting against the law. Therefore, to ensure enough infrastructure, manpower, facilities and courses are authentic,” Shinde added.

“Any institute takes time to establish the norms and infrastructure to become Deemed to be University according to UGC guidance,” he further added. 

Shinde said it is easy to gain the status, but difficult to maintain it. The UGC wants to ensure these institutes are able to maintain it. “Earlier the committee would survey and recommend certain changes, but these recommendations would not be followed. Although the progress of these institutions was reviewed in every five years to regulate them, there were ways to manipulate and manage the committee as well,” said Shinde.
 
“However, this time the government is serious about promoting only good educational institutions which impart better quality of education. With stricter regulations and eligibility criteria, the institutions will fear their status might be taken away anytime,” said Shinde.
 
Highlighting about previous issues of Deemed to be Universities, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University) Vice-Chancellor MM Salunkhe said, “The concept started with health colleges which wanted to be recognised as university. But issues related to Deemed to be Universities began to come to the fore.

Almost a decade ago, Tandon Committee was set up under Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) which reviewed the then established Deemed to be University. According to the report, 44 such universities were derecognised, but they later took a legal stance over it. However, the committee was also questioned on its research. 

“Nevertheless, with the new regulations, the UGC has given specifications of requirements to be recognised as Deemed to be Universities for those who aspire to become one in future,” said Salunkhe.

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