Establishing Private Universities Through State Legislations.

New Delhi,184 Private Universities, at present have been established in the country through State Legislations. During the last five years, different State Governments have set up 127 Private Universities. This information was given by HRD Minister Smt. Smriti Irani in a written reply to the Lok Sabha Question today. 
She stated that some private universities which have been created recently by State Government are facing problems of poor infrastructure and lack of qualified teachers. The Private Universities are inspected by the UGC with the help of Expert Committees which include representatives from the concerned Statutory Council(s). These Expert Committees visit the Private Universities to assess the fulfillment of minimum criteria in terms of programmes, faculty, infrastructural facilities, financial viability, etc. as laid down by the UGC and Statutory Bodies concerned. Out of the 184 Private Universities, the UGC Expert Committees have visited 85 Private Universities. The UGC visiting Expert Committees and AICTE Expert Committees have pointed out some deficiencies in the infrastructure and availability of qualified faculty. The reports of the Expert Committees are placed before the Commission for consideration and the reports are sent to Institutions concerned for rectification of the defects and compliance. 
Presently, all the Private Universities in the country have been established by the Acts of the State Legislatures and these are being regulated by the UGC as per the provisions contained in the UGC (Establishment of and Maintenance of Standards in Private Universities) Regulations, 2003. On inspection, if UGC finds any deficiency and non conformity with the UGC Regulations in Private Universities, it gives an opportunity to rectify the same. Even after the opportunity if the university fails to comply with the provisions of any of the Regulations, the Commission may pass an order prohibiting the Private University from offering any course etc. till the deficiency is rectified and inform the public in general through public notification. A private university continuing such programmes and awarding unspecified degrees shall be liable for penalty under Section 24 of the UGC Act. UGC constituted an Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. Mihir K. Chaudhari, Vice Chancellor, Tezpur University enquiring the alleged irregularities of CMJ University, Shillong, Meghalaya as reported by the Governor’s Secretariat. After submission of the report of the Committee, UGC forwarded the same to the Governor Secretariat, Meghalaya and Chief Secretary, Meghalaya Government with the request to take appropriate action against CMJ University as per the provisions of the University Act or any other law as the Governor Secretariat/State Government deems fit. 

During the last three years, 242 private institutions were ordered to be closed down by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The specific reasons for closure of the Institutes are (i) There is less demand for institutes located in rural areas for admission, as the institutes are not able to provide an industry-institute-interface and campus placements. It may be noted that generally the students are interested in migrating to cities for education, (ii) The demand for certain branches of engineering is less and institutes offering only such branches face the problem of not getting the seats filled up and (iii) Attracting good faculty in educational institutions situated in rural areas is also difficult as there are no other openings for their spouses and children for employment and studies which in turn affect the quality of education and thereby the demand for such colleges is less.

As regards the control exercised by AICTE over fees to be charged by the private institutes/colleges, the AICTE had constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of Justice Ranganathan Mishra, former Chief Justice of India for prescribing guidelines for charging of tuition and other fees and admission of students in technical institutions. After the demise of Justice Ranganathan Mishra, AICTE has re-constituted the Committee under the Chairmanship of former Supreme Court Justice Shri B N Srikrishna. AICTE has also notified the Regulations for the creation of Ombudsman within the Universities and Complaint Redressal Committee within the Institutions respectively.
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