THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:An expert committee, constituted by the Kerala State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) to study the feasibility of establishing private universities in the state, will submit its final report to the state government by August 15.
Briefing reporters after conducting a series of discussions with all stakeholders, chairman of the 10-member committee Cyriac Thomas, said the draft report would be ready by the first week of August.
“Even after preparation of the draft report, avenues will remain open for any person to provide his or her inputs and suggestions. This facility will be available on www.kshec.kerala.gov.in
The suggestions and inputs would also be incorporated, if needed, before the final report is submitted.
The committee clarified that its mandate was only to study the feasibility of setting up private universities and that the final decision will be taken by the government.
KSHEC vice-chairman T P Sreenivasan clarified the study was being conducted after getting proper directions from the government.
He denied charges that the KHSEC had not taken the government into confidence before undertaking the study. According to expert committee, the establishment of each private university will require enactment of separate legislation by the state Assembly.
Preference will be given to reputed corporate managements, trusts and societies. Aided institutions will not be preferred, as they will not be able to function as private universities.
“The private universities will function under the strict control of the University Grants Commission (UGC) or the AICTE”.
“They will have to obtain accreditation from these apex bodies. The students and teachers will also be eligible for grant from the UGC/ AICTE. However, there will be no funding by the state government,” Thomas said.
“Though private universities cannot affiliate colleges, it can run constituent colleges. However, such constituent colleges should be situated in the same district or within its prescribed jurisdiction,” Thomas said.
He said a proper monitoring mechanism will be put in place to ensure that the private universities do not make arbitrary decisions regarding fee structure and appointment of staff. The private managements will have to deposit Rs 25 crore as a surety amount.
This includes Rs 15 crore as a Joint Fixed Deposit Account in the name of the private management and the state government and Rs 10 crore as bank guarantee.