`Pvt deemed varsities concerned more about revenue`

Many private deemed universities are predominantly concerned about revenue generation rather than promoting academic and research activities, a government panel has said.

Updated: Mar 07, 2010, 13:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Many private deemed universities are predominantly concerned about revenue generation rather than promoting academic and research activities, a government
panel has said.

The government-appointed committee to review the functioning of deemed universities has recommended a fresh look at the existing UGC guidelines for grant of such status
to institutions.

The panel headed by P N Tandon in its report, a copy of which is available with a news agency, has also suggested setting up a national committee for fixing rational fee structure for deemed universities which can be reviewed from time to time.

Most of the deemed universities have fee structure considerably higher than that recommended by the official fee structure committees established according to the Supreme Court directives. Many of them created their own fee structure committees to justify the exorbitant fees, according to the report which have been submitted to the apex court.

The Supreme court will hear the matter tomorrow.

The committee has found 44 of the 130 deemed universities to be unfit for the status while another 44 have been found deficient in many areas. It has recommended that the 44 deficient deemed universities should be given three years time to rectify their short comings while the deemed university status should be withdrawn from those found unfit.

Collection of capitation fee or donation is a "pernicious" feature of the professional education offered by private deemed universities, the report said.

The committee has also suggested mandatory external review of every deemed university once in five years to ensure that such institutions are promoting academic and research

The board of management of many such private universities comprise members who are relatives of the head of the trust, the panel found.

"As consequence of these practises, many boards of management which are expected to provide visionary leadership for the growth and development of the university and create a transparent and credible environment in running the programmes have been unable to play their expected role.

"In reality, the predominant concern of the boards seemed to be revenue generation rather than functioning as a body for defining and monitoring the institutional goals and roadmaps," the report said.

Except a few public-funded institutions, quality research is not done in any of the deemed universities. Research, which is a major component of university, is not being carried out
by these institutions, the report said.

There is not a single example of technology transfer, generation of patents and intellectual property in these institutions, it said.

Even though the UGC guidelines speak about holding an all-India entrance test to enrol students, the deemed universities never follow any common entrance examination.

They conduct their own entrance which is very often restricted to limited geographical locations or regions, the report said.

The number of students admitted through such entrances were disproportionately high in relation to the number of candidates appearing for the examination. This makes competitiveness and credibility of the examinations questionable and many of them end up admitting students of lesser competence, the report observed.

The committee has recommended that the highest governing body of the deemed universities should be headed by the Vice-Chancellor and should include distinguished academics and professionals as its members.

It should not have more than one or two representatives of the trust or society in case of private deemed university.

The committee observed that many deemed universities were engaged in thoughtless introduction of unrelated programmes.

"The under-graduate and post-graduate courses offered by them were no different from those offered by a large number of professional colleges," the report said.