Calling for transparency in the government’s move against deemed universities, the Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI) said erring universities would be willing to accept the government’s decisions only if they are shown the rationale behind them.

G. Viswanathan, president, EPSI, said the expert committee constituted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development had called for wide-ranging actions against certain deemed universities after classifying them according to some scale. While some deemed universities really did have deficiencies, it was unfair to use a broad brush against all deemed universities, especially without providing the details of the committee’s evaluation process, he said. If the government was intent on reforming the system, it should start by showing more transparency in its own working, he added.

Mr. Viswanathan also questioned the parameters used by the committee and said it took at least a few years before a university could produce sufficient research output. Even State and central universities had problems with faculty and infrastructure and this was part of a general problem in the country which would take a few years to correct, he said.

He said a committee constituted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) had provided detailed reports after making site visits and after evaluating the universities over many days unlike the expert committee constituted by the MHRD.

He said there had been no transparency in the government and asked what action had been taken against erring university owners and chancellors in Chhattisgarh after the 2005 case when 112 private universities were derecognised.

EPSI would represent its case to Kapil Sibal, the Prime Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Manohar Chellani, secretary general, EPSI, said deemed universities had played an important role in higher education in the country.

The meeting of 21 universities affiliated to the EPSI was also addressed by S.K. Khanna, former vice-chairman, UGC; and P.K. Gupta, former president, EPSI.

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