Minister of State for HRD clears the air
The Centre's decision to withdraw the “deemed” status for 44 universities spread across the country has put the students studying in these universities in a state of flux. They are unsure of their future and the course that the government would take to bail them out.
It is estimated that about 1.19 lakh students are enrolled in various undergraduate and postgraduate courses in these universities.
In an interview to The Hindu EducationPlus, the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Daggubati Purandeswari cleared the air on the issue. (Below is the excerpt of the interview).
EPlus: Now that the Centre has decided to derecognise the 44 deemed universities, what would be the future of the students?
Daggubati Purandeswari: We shall see that the students are not harmed. The academic session will go as per schedule and the identified colleges (deemed universities) will retain status quo. That means, they will once again come under the university that they were affiliated hitherto. The examinations will be conducted by the university and the certificate will be given by the same university. So there is no reason to worry.
But how did it happen and what action will be taken?
The departments concerned have come under the scanner and the enquiry is on. There is nothing much that I can say right now about the action to be taken, but the provision of granting deemed university status under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act may be scrapped in the future.
It is a policy decision and we have to wait and watch till the appropriate time.
Research and pure science have a taken back seat. What steps you intend to take to develop the areas?
Because of the development of the IT sector, research and pure science had taken a back seat.
The development of IT was a boon to the country but a bane to certain disciplines in the education arena. Recession has come as a blessing in disguise.
I hope things will improve now. Moreover, the development of multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary sciences like nanotechnology and bio-sensory will give a fillip to pure sciences in the coming years.
Nanotechnology is an emerging area and the country is fast progressing.
On the research front we intend to start incubation centres in various universities to develop research.
The proposal for incubation centres has been sent to the Finance Ministry for budget approval.
We also plan to hike the research fellowship to encourage researchers.
There is an apprehension in academic circles that the decision to float more universities and IITs by the government would dilute the quality. What is your opinion?
We shall counter that argument by infusing technology. Quality and quantity can be matched by upgrading technology.
We believe in four things: accessibility, affordability, faculty strength and infrastructure. The restructured system would have all the four ingredients.