The Supreme Court has ordered inspection of seven deemed universities by the UGC. The UGC has side-stepped its own rules on this process.
UGC's inspection committee is headed by its secretary JS Sandhu and consists of OP Kalra of University College of Medical Sciences, Ramesh Dadich of ICSSR, SP Goyal, joint secretary, HRD ministry and Sunita Siwach, a UGC official.
The UGC has specific norms on how to constitute an inspection committee. The regulation says the committee should consist of two two serving or retired vice-chancellors of any central or state university; not less than three and not more than five members, at least one a woman; from amongst professors having special knowledge of the courses being conducted in the university; one member from each of the councils with jurisdiction over the courses in the university and one member from National Academic and Accreditation Council. The regulation also says the committee should be headed by one of the two VCs.
HRD ministry sources justified the constitution of the committee on the ground that it is not a regular inspection committee but could not answer how HRD and UGC officials could be part of it.
It is not only the constitution of the inspection committee that is attracting criticism, now it has come out that the UGC committee that reviewed 41 deemed universities had actually put eight of them in the list to be disqualified as deemed university. But in the last minute, one university from Uttar Pradesh was moved out of the list.