Bridling study centres

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The UGC has taken note of wrongful claims being made to lure students

The University Grants Commission (UGC) is sounding alarm bells over the trend of some private educational institutions trying to mislead students and parents through false claims and advertisements.

The regulator has taken a serious note of such institutions luring students through advertisements placed in national dailies promising the award of university degrees through franchise programmes conducted by them.

These institutions, assigning themselves as study centres or learning centres of universities, enrol students for degree programmes and claim to be responsible for teaching and the conduct of examinations. The faculty and the infrastructure belong to these private agencies.

Akhilesh Gupta, Secretary of the commission, says the universities have no mechanism to monitor and maintain the academic standards of teaching at these centres, but can only provide the syllabus and teaching materials.

This blatant compromise with the standards of education has led to widespread criticism. The commission has taken a serious view of these misleading advertisements, he says.

In a public notice, the UGC has informed lakhs of students and their parents that a Central or State university can conduct courses only through its own departments and constituent colleges and/or affiliated colleges.


A university established or incorporated by, or under, a State Act shall operate only within the territorial jurisdiction allotted to it under its Act and in no case beyond the territory of the State of its location.

Private universities and deemed universities cannot affiliate any college or institution for conducting courses leading to the award of its diplomas, degrees or other qualifications.

No university, whether Central, State, private or deemed, can offer its programmes through franchising arrangements with private coaching institutions even for conducting courses in the distance mode. All universities shall award only degrees specified by the UGC and published in the Gazette.

The universities shall conduct their first degree and Master’s degree programmes in accordance with the regulations notified by the commission. M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes cannot be run in the distance mode. They can be conducted only in the regular mode by any university, even private or deemed, and by following the provisions contained in the UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Awards of M.Phil/Ph.D. Degree), Regulation, 2009.

The commission has informed students that a private university established under a State Act shall be a unitary university and shall operate ordinarily within its headquarters.

A private university may be permitted to open off-campus centres, off-shore campuses and study centres after five years of its coming into existence, subject to the fulfilment of conditions laid down under the UGC (Establishment of, and Maintenance of Standards in, Private Universities) Regulations, 2003.

A deemed university shall operate only within its headquarters or from those off-campuses which are approved by the Union government through a notification published in the Gazette.

In case of distance education programmes, no deemed-to-be university, so declared by the Union government, shall be allowed to conduct courses in the distance mode. Also, institutions declared as such, prior to the UGC (institutions deemed to be universities) Regulations, 2010, shall not be allowed to conduct courses in the distance mode from any of their off-campus centre or off-shore campus approved subsequent to the regulations.

Any information or clarification with regard to recognition of private universities and deemed universities and the courses offered by them may be obtained from JS (CPP-I), UGC, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.

The Central and State universities can conduct courses through distance mode in accordance with the provisions of their respective Acts and in conformity with the regulations notified by the UGC. The information relating to recognition of universities and their approved centres, specified degrees and all the relevant regulations, instructions and guidelines of the UGC are available

The commission has advised students not to take admission in unapproved study centres, off-campus centres, franchisee institutions, colleges and institutions claiming to be affiliated with private or deemed universities.

No varsity can offer its programmes through franchising arrangements with private coaching institutions



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