SC disapproves UGC process of inspection by photographs and video-camera

UGC, the apex regulator of Higher Education in the country has found itself in line of fire from the Apex Court of the Country.

While hearing Petitions filed by some Deemed Universities, Supreme Court had earlier sought response from UGC as to modus operandi followed for assessment of Deemed Universities. It was hearing Application questioning the process of assessment of UGC by aid of photographs and presentations.

The matter after being adjourned on 23.09.2014 and 25.09.2014, was heard finally on 26.09.2014.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court disapproving the process of assessment by photographs and presentations observed in its order dated 26.09.2014 as under:

“ The singular grievance that has been agitated in the aforesaid I. As. is   that   the  UGC instead of taking recourse to physical inspection of the concerned institution, have adopted an innovative modus operandi by inspecting through photographs and video camera. We cannot conceive of such a situation.

 In our considered opinion, inspection would mean in all its connotative expanse physical inspection from all scores and spectrums. Neither the petitioners can have a restrictive or constricted meaning on the same nor the UGC can put a gloss over it. A physical inspection is fundamentally a physical inspection and we so repeat at the cost of repetition.”

While disapproving the process of photographs and video-presentations, the Apex Court directed UGC to inspect the institutions, who had filed Applications within a period of 12 weeks. It also directed that after the inspection is conducted, UGC shall point out the defects/defaults to the concerned Institution allowing them reasonable time to rectify the same.

The Apex Court has further clarified that it is only after some reasonable time has been granted to the inspected University to rectify the defect, the Report shall be submitted to Central Government and the Court.

EduLegaL View:

The Central Government relying on the photographs and presentations method of P N Tandon Committee painted an ugly picture of Deemed Universities in India for last 5 years. Did it ever make sense??? The Deemed Universities suffered.

It is now bye bye Tandon Committee and Task Force !! 

UGC submits report on Deemed Universities

UGC considered report submitted by its Sub-Committee headed by vice-chairman H. Devraj that examined the 41 Deemed Universities, which were de-recognised by the HRD Ministry, following Report of Tandon Committee.

The Sub-Committee has upgraded 34 of the Deemed University and has recommended that either some of them satisfy the criterion of being a Deemed University or some of them, though can continue to be a Deemed University, needs to take certain corrective steps.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide order dated 21.01.2014 had directed UGC to examine all the reports including Tandon Committee Report and submit report within 8 Weeks. However, Supreme Court extended the time line from time on request from UGC.

Later on request from UGC to visit all the concerned Universities, Supreme Court again extended the time. However, UGC dropped the idea of the visit and constituted a 4 member committee to examine into the Reports and also to call for presentation and information from the aggrieved Deemed Universities.

Some of the Deemed University later challenged this approach of UGC before Supreme Court and UGC has been directed to file its reply. The matter will be heard today in Supreme Court.

Whatever happens, some light to many after years of darkness, the argument may continue!

SC questions the Assessment Process of UGC of 41 Deemed Universities

EduLegaL, while reporting the earlier development of regarding constitution of Committee by UGC to assess the Deemed Universities on basis of presentation , it had raised a question:

“ Is UGC doing the same mistake, as was done by Tandon Committee? The main allegation against Tandon Committee was that it was an ARM CHAIR REPORT prepared on basis of Power Point Presentation and Speech Skills and not inspection / visit to the Campus of the Universities. UGC had approached Supreme Court seeking extension of time with the plea to inspect the Deemed Universities. Where is that inspection? UGC should inspect the Campuses and then submit a Report. A Report prepared on basis of Power Point Presentation and Speech Skills generally cannot reflect the true position.”

It seems that the apprehensions of EduLegaL has come true, as some of the Deemed Universities have questioned the assessment process adopted by UGC before Supreme Court primarily consisting of presentations and video recordings.

The Deemed University matter was listed before Supreme Court on 19.09.2014 and lawyers appearing on behalf of the Deemed Universities informed the Supreme Court that review done by UGC is flawed as it is done on basis of audi-video presentation and not physical inspection.

The Supreme Court has directed UGC to reply by Tuesday. The matter will now again come up for hearing on 23.09.2014. In the meanwhile, UGC is also considering the report submitted by its Sub-Committee in its meeting to held on 22.09.2014. In the light of developments on 19.09.2014, UGC’s meeting becomes an all-important affair.

It was reported in the media, the said Committee, which followed the same process as that of Tandon Committee almost, concurred with the findings of the Tandon Committee.

Earlier, when UGC was granted time by the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its order dated 05.05.2014, it was granted for the purpose of physical verification of the infrastructure and campus of the Deemed Universities. Later UGC changed its approach and decided to hold the review on basis of presentation, which is not correct approach.

Over to the Hon’ble Supreme Court for hearing on 23.09.2014 – Let us see !!!