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Deemed universities in India demand revaluation

Two days after the government filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court seeking to divest 44 universities of their deemed status, many of them Wednesday lamented they were not informed about the move and demanded revaluation.

The sword of derecognition hangs over the 44 deemed universities. But many of them say they were not informed about the human resource development ministry’s affidavit, nor were their facilities inspected.        

One of these is the National Museum Institute of History, Art, Conservation and Museology. The university is located in Delhi and has 100 students. It also boasts of prominent alumni, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and industrialist Anil Ambani’s wife Tina.        

“Our university has worked as a deemed university for the past 21 years. It started working in 1989. This is a very small but known university… We haven’t got any communication about this from the ministry. We have only heard about the court affidavit in newspapers,” said a senior official in the university’s registrar office on condition of anonymity.        

Officials at Lingaya University in neighbouring Faridabad, Haryana were equally surprised to see their name on the affidavit’s list of university’s facing derecognition.        

“This is an unfair decision. They did not notify us. It will be a big loss to our around 100 students. What I don’t understand is that no government official visited our institute? Have they seen our facilities or inspected? How can they put our university’s name in the list without proper scrutiny?” asked an irate Rajan Mittal, Lingaya’s senior resource manager.          

Mittal added that the university would wait for official intimation before moving the Supreme Court in the matter.        

The country has nearly 100 deemed universities that function as stand-alone universities but don’t give affiliation to other institutions.        

Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal Tuesday emphasized that the concept of deemed universities would be abolished from the country’s education system but also assured that students already enrolled would not suffer in the process.        

Noida’s Jaypee Institute of Information Technology is another deemed university with a student strength of 600.         

“We are not aware of any such situation and have not got any notice from the court. We are all surprised that the institution’s name was in the list of (44 universities facing derecognition),” said J.P. Gupta, the university’s vice chancellor.        

Gupta said they were trying to speak to ministry officials to get some clarity on the matter: “We are working on contacting someone in the ministry who can tell us what we can do.”        

The government has moved against deemed universities on the grounds that many of them are run purely for commercial reasons and have doubtful credentials.        

–Indo-Asian News Service

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