The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to put on the Internet the recommendations of the Tandon Committee and the task force on the basis of which the government had decided to derecognise 44 deemed universities in the country.
A Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A K Patnaik also directed that its earlier status quo order would continue till April 13.
The apex court granted two weeks to the aggrieved universities to file their responses on the Centre’s decision to derecognise them.
The Bench agreed to examine the validity of the government’s decision to derecognise the varsities as the institutions claimed that under the statutory rules, it is only the UGC, which has got the power to strip them of their deemed status.
The apex court had earlier restrained the government from derecognising the universities until it decided the issue.
The Union HRD Ministry has already told the Supreme Court that it had given sufficient opportunity to 130 deemed universities to explain their academic performance before deciding to derecognise 44 of them for failing to meet the requisite standards.
Stoutly defending its decision, the Centre, in its additional affidavit, has said its high-powered review committee and task force were more concerned with the academic excellence of these universities, rather than infrastructural facilities.
The government rejected the claims of the aggrieved universities that they were not given any opportunity to present their viewpoints before putting them on the list for de-recognition.
“The review committee constituted by the government invited all 130 institutions deemed to be universities for presentations and face-to-face discussions. However, 126 institutions attended the presentation sessions.
“Further, it is mentioned that the entire presentation session for each such institution ‘deemed to be university’ has been videographed. Elaborate and exhaustive questionnaires seeking all relevant information were also sent to these institutions well in advance.
“The committee analysed the information collected from institutions through the questionnaires and that obtained during the presentations and interaction on behalf of the responding institutions, and finally submitted its report,” the Centre said, referring to the October 2009 report of the review committee directing de-recognition of the 44 varsities.
The HRD Ministry said the universities sought to be de-recognised were being run as family fiefdoms, rather than as institutions of academic excellence, which they claim to be.
“It found that several such institutions had violated the principles and guidelines prescribing excellence in teaching and research or innovations were engaged in thoughtless introduction of unrelated programmes and proliferation of degrees beyond the mandate of the original terms of grant of deemed to be university status,” the affidavit said.