Private Universities to Come Under Scrutiny
The Union human resources development (HRD) ministry is in now way going to let the private universities mushroom and do business unless they prove that they are maintaining the educational standards. According to a senior official, the HRD has initiated an exercise, where the private universities will be scrutinized to identify if there are deviations from set norms.
The official added the ministry has taken steps to bring UGC and legal consultants together to address this key aspect following directions from HRD minister Prakash Javadekar.
The ministry official said, “There have been concerns about the standard of education in the hundreds of private universities spread across the country, and also about to maintaining quality. There have been reports of varsities with insufficient infrastructure, including some functioning from just a few rooms."
The official added, “The idea is to identify any lacunae or gaps that lead to a laxity in the maintenance of educational standards, and ways to address them.”
The official said, "The government is in favor of granting more funds and more autonomy to institutions that provide quality education, but ensuring that standards are not diluted is a key premise. Therefore, it is believed this exercise would go a long way in addressing quality concerns."
Former UGC member Inder Mohan Kapahy said, “Some (private universities in India) are very good and some not as good. At times, even political pressure may lead to the formation of such a body. A key aspect is: the day an act or ordinance is passed, the body can give degrees. There should be some mechanism to ensure quality checks at the time of inception. In India, operations of a varsity have hardly ever been stopped. So it is important to have quality checks at the time of inception, particularly with regard to new private varsities.”