Deemed universities identified with deficiencies should be given a hearing and an opportunity to explain, said Oscar Fernandes, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, here on Thursday.

He was speaking to reporters after inaugurating the second edition of the ‘TN Education Summit’ on the theme ‘Powering India towards a knowledge society,’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“I know that one of the universities was told that they did not have adequate research facilities. But, the university says it is only a year old and needs time to build research infrastructure.” Earlier in his inaugural address, he emphasised the need to ensure that Indian universities soon made it to the top 100 universities in the world. “When technology becomes obsolete every six months, institutions should also make sure the syllabus reflects these changes.”

G. Viswanathan, convenor, education panel, CII-TN, and Chancellor, VIT University, said about 90 per cent of the students pursued higher education in colleges without research facilities, rather than universities. With State governments taking little initiative to set up universities, public-private partnerships played an important role. Pointing to the lack of competition among universities, particularly government ones, he said only competition can bring down the cost of higher education.

The summit featured three sessions on attracting professionals to the teaching profession, igniting rural India through higher education and building ecosystems for higher education through research and innovation.

C.K. Ranganathan, chairman, CII Tamil Nadu State Council, and R. Mahadevan, chairman, education sub-committee, CII were among those who spoke.