A Parliamentary panel has criticised the University Grants Commission (UGC) for its delay in examining whether private universities are functioning in accordance with the UGC Act.
The Parliamentary standing committee on Human Resource Development (HRD) has taken a serious note of the shoddy manner of inspections carried out by the expert committee constituted by the UGC, despite having well-laid out procedures with prescribed time lines.
Today, private universities play a significant role in higher education and are mandated to function in accordance with the UGC Act.
The standing committee, in its report presented to Parliament, noted that out of 53 private universities, the UGC has taken two to six years to carry out inspections in 28 private universities.
For instance, Jaypee University of IT, Solan was established in 2002 and the first inspection by the expert committee took place in 2004 and the second inspection was held in September 2011.
Similarly, the UGC is yet to complete the inspection of Nirma University of Science and Technology, Ahmedabad (established in 2003), Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of ICT, Gandhi Nagar (established in 2003), Himgiri Zee University, Dehradun (established in 2003) and Integral University, Lucknow (established in 2004).
“The committee is disturbed to note that these inspections are simply being conducted at a leisurely pace or simply forgotten,” the report stated.
The committee said: “It seems that the element of accountability is simply missing, both on the part of the university being inspected and the expert committees. There is a sheer lack of supervision and monitoring on the part of UGC. It seems that nobody is serious enough in the entire process of conducting inspections. Purpose behind conducting inspection of private universities seems to have been simply forgotten by all concerned.”
Maintaining that the future of our young student community is at stake, the standing committee opined that there is an urgent need to overhaul the entire system.