Vellore: Calling the letter received by Jawaharlal Nehru University a ‘forged’ one, UGC chairman Ved Prakash said: “UGC is not closing down any centre studying discrimination.”
Close on the heels of JNU’s dalit research scholar Muthukrishnan’s suicide last week, media reports said the commission will stop funding the Centre for the Study of Discrimination and Exclusion at JNU from April 1. The reports which quoted a UGC letter created an uneasy situation in academic campuses.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of VIT’s University Day and Annual Sports Day function here on Sunday, Mr Ved Prakash denied issuing any such letter from UGC. “We have never written such a letter. The letter was forged by some bad minds,” he said. “We are planning to file a FIR against the ‘forged’ letter. UGC has set up 35 centres across the country for inclusive education and we will continue to fund all these 35 centres,” he added.
When asked about the controversy surrounding the UGC’s regulation adopted by the JNU in which the students will be admitted to M.Phil., PhD courses solely based on the viva, he said, “The regulations are updated time to time. As per the regulations, national level entrance exams are being conducted for these courses. After the exam, the universities can fix their criteria for admission as they are autonomous institutions.”
On the prevailing discrimination at the higher education institutions, he said, “the UGC has established guidelines for preventing discrimination. As per the guidelines, anti-discrimination officers should be appointed in all higher education institutions.”
Moving on to other subjects he said, “If a university gets the highest grade in NAAC rating continuously for two years, they need not come to UGC for setting up a new department. If they get it for three years in a row their recognition validity period will get doubled and they can set off- campuses.”
On whether NIRF ranking has helped in any way to improve the standard of Indian Universities he said, “This is just the beginning. We are going to release the second annual ranking in April. It creates a healthy academic competition.” When asked whether it would be made compulsory for all institutions to participate in the national ranking, he said, “We are moving towards it.”
Speaking at the function earlier, VIT Chancellor G.Viswanathan said, “The Ministry of Human Resource Development should recognise the private universities which are performing well in the form of giving grants.” Awards and medals to the meritorious students were also distributed in the event....