New Delhi, Oct 17: The HRD Ministry has said that at no point of time it has held that the UGC has become redundant.
In a statement, the ministry said that reports of the Centre saying in the Supreme Court on October 14 that UGC has become redundant are "absolutely incorrect, misrepresented and misleading and intended to create a negative perception of the government".
"The HRD Ministry has at no point of time held that UGC is redundant either in their affidavit or the counsel's argument," the statement added.
The apex court was hearing petitions filed by two Tamil Nadu-based institutions - SRM Deemed to be University and Manakula Vinaygar Academy of Higher Education - in a matter concerning UGC's power to regulate deemed universities and private institutions.
The Karnataka High Court had quashed the regulations. Referring to the high court order, these two institutes had raised questions on how two sets of rules could apply to colleges within Karnataka and colleges in Tamil Nadu.
In connection with the matter, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Paramjit Singh Patwalia had submitted before the court that there have been two distinct views held by the two esteemed high courts of Madras and Karnataka respectively on the Institutions (Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2010 which have given two different judgments, one upholding the regulations and the other quashing them.
"Therefore the allegation that the Centre has argued that the order of the High Court of Karnataka is applicable to the rest of the country is misleading," the statement said.
It said the government has already filed its appeal in the Karnataka High Court challenging its order quashing the regulations. The ASG has also sought the permission of Supreme Court to transfer the appeals which are pending in Karnataka High Court to Supreme Court to adjudicate on the matter in the interest of maintenance of quality of higher education imparted by institutions Deemed to be Universities.