SC seeks states' stand on 44 deemed varsities facing closure
14 December 2010
Press Trust of India
NEW DELHI, 14 DEC: The Supreme Court today sought to know from the states if they would like to grant affiliation to 44 deemed universities in case the Centre derecognised them.
A Bench of Mr Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Mr Justice Deepak Verma issued notices to the state, asking them to file their response by 11 January next year.
The SC directions follows the Tandon Committee's recommendations seeking derecognition of 44 deemed universities on the ground that they had emerged as the personal fief of their promoters and proved pure commercial ventures of the management.
The SC had earlier passed the status quo order in January this year restraining the Centre from stripping these 44 deemed universities of their prestigious "deemed university" tag until it decided a batch of petitions by the aggrieved managements challenging the Centre's move as arbitrary and illegal. The Centre, while proposing derecognition of these universities, had earlier assured the SC that it would protect the interest of the two lakh odd students who would be affected by the derecognition move.
A number of deemed universities, which faced the Centre's threat of derecognition, had moved the SC within days after the government decided to strip them of their prestigious "deemed university" status for a number of lapses, including treating the institutions as teaching shops.
On pleas by the affected universities, on January 25, the SC restrained the Centre from divesting them of the deemed status for their academic under-performance.
The court had passed the status quo order despite the government's assurance that no punitive action would be taken against these institutions without the court's consent. The SC passed the status quo order saying that the issue did not only involve only the institutions but also the future of more than two lakh students.
While seeking the affected universities' stands on the government's move to derecognise them, the court had also asked for the reports of the Review Committee and the task force on the basis of which the human resource development ministry had decided to crack the whip on the 44 universities.
It had also asked for the University Grant Commission's report on the basis of which the ministry had accorded deemed status to these institutions.
The court had agreed to examine the legality of the government's decision to derecognise the varsities as the institutions claimed that under the statutory rules, it was only the UGC which had the power to strip them of their deemed status.