The Central government informed the Supreme Court that it was contemplating over the introduction of a new grading system for universities across the country, further adding that the whole process of laying down the criteria for the same would be achieved within three months.
Tushar Mehta, Additional Solicitor appearing on behalf of the government told the SC bench comprising Justices Vikramjit Sen and Dipak Misra that the Center was consulting all stakeholders including the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), and National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) to ensure a smooth implementation of the proposed move.
The initiative taken by the government has drawn sharp criticism from a group of private deemed universities that argues that the Center was not in a position to lay down any criteria as there was no such rule. After considering their objection, the apex court asked the government to respond to their objections within three weeks.
Meanwhile, the UGC informed the bench that it had conducted physical verification of eight universities as per the court’s direction and found them deficient. Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh told the court that the UGC has granted one more year to seven of the eight universities to remove their deficiencies in infrastructure and lack of quality faculty.
The court asked the UGC to survey the following institutes: Maharishi Markandeshwar University in Ambala, Manav Rachna International University in Faridabad, Institute of Advanced Studies in Education in Churu (Rajasthan), Academy of Maritime Education and Training in Chennai, Bharath Institute of Higher Education & Research in Chennai, Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Science & Technology (PRIST) in Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu), Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation in Salem (Tamil Nadu) and Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya in Haridwar.