V.Jayanth and A.Subramani
"It is not a pre-requisite for an institution notified as a `Deemed-to-be-University' to obtain the approval of the AICTE to start any programme in technical or management education leading to an award, including degrees in disciplines covered under the AICTE Act 1987. However, institutions notified as `Deemed-to-be-University' are required to ensure the maintenance of the minimum standards prescribed by the AICTE for various courses that come under the jurisdiction of the said Council. It is expected that the institutions notified as `Deemed-to-be-University' maintain their standards of education higher than the minimum prescribed by the AICTE," the notification said.
The Ministry has also said: "While the AICTE will not issue any directions to the institutions notified as `Deemed-to-be-University' on the basis of inspection report of the Council's Expert Committee, the council may bring the findings and recommendations of its expert committee to the notice of the University Grants Commission which, after considering the report of the expert committee of the AICTE and recommendations, if any, may issue necessary directions for appropriate action."
The power to inspect universities or institutions notified as deemed universities to the AICTE is specifically to "ensure the maintenance of standards in management and technical education, whereas, the power of inspection to the UGC is to ensure overall functioning of universities/ institutions notified as `Deemed-to-be-University' including faculties thereof, in order to ensure overall standards like that of a university including administrative and academic standards."
In the only rider for the deemed universities, the Ministry has reiterated that these institutions "are required to abide by the instructions/ recommendations of the UGC, failing which the UGC may even consider to recommend to the Central Government for the withdrawal of `Deemed-to-be-University' status."
As for the AICTE, it "may cause an inspection of the relevant departments of the institution declared as `Deemed-to-be-University' offering courses that come under the jurisdiction of the AICTE Act 1987, in order to ensure the maintenance of standards."
Academics here feel that the Ministry has tilted the balance in favour of the UGC and let the deemed universities off the hook