Chennai: With the HR development ministry (MHRD) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) bringing in tougher rules for an institution to become a deemed university, the number of applications for deemed university status has come down. Last year, the UGC received four applications across the country, including one from Tamil Nadu and this year two institutions have applied to get the status.
UGC vice-chairman Professor H. Devaraj said that last year the commission had received four applications and this year two have got added to the list. “We (MHRD and UGC) have tightened the selection process, making it clear that only good institutions will get deemed university status because of which the numbers have come down,” he said.According to the UGC (Institutions deemed to be universities) regulations 2010, which the Commission follows currently for deemed universities, there are several stringent norms, including that the college should have been in existence for at least 15 years and they should have secured “A” grade in the assessment done by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) twice.
Stringent clauses like these make it tough for existing institutions to get the status of deemed university. “It is a welcome sign that the number of deemed university proposals have come down because of the rigour involved. The charitable grant of deemed university status during 2004-09 including conditional grant for 3 or 5-year period has caused an avoidable mess in the system that is compounded further by the Prof Tandon committee,” dean (planning and development) at the Thanjavur-based Sastra University Professor S. Vaidyasubramaniam said.
Pointing out that it was akin to awarding a driving license and asking the driver to learn driving within six months, Prof Vaidyasubramaniam said that the present move to address this at the entry level was a welcome sign and there needs to be a 5-year review of all deemed universities. “There should be no conditional deemed university status as there is no such provision in the UGC Act,” he added....