Chitra V. Ramani

Bangalore: Have rules been bent in the issuance of “No-Objection Certificates” for grant of deemed university status to two private colleges affiliated to Bangalore University?

The procedure followed by Bangalore University in granting these clearances for the coveted status has led many Syndicate members to believe that this was indeed the case.

As per the stipulated norms, the NoC from Bangalore University has to be submitted to the University Grants Commission (UGC) for the grant of deemed university status. Christ College (Autonomous) was granted deemed status on July 22 in an order signed by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development on the recommendations of UGC. However, the background to this has come under scrutiny.

The State government, in its response to Christ College’s request for issue of NoC, said it had decided “not to recommend any institution for conferment of deemed status.” Kaushik Mukherjee, the then principal secretary, Department of Higher Education, had written to UGC Chairman on April 15 saying:

“The State government does not recommend the case of Christ College (Autonomous) for conferment of deemed university status.”

Although technically the State government is not the authority to issue an NoC, the 74th meeting of the Bangalore University Syndicate held on June 7, took the decision not to issue an NoC to Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain College, citing the government’s letter to UGC Chairman. However, disregarding this decision, an NoC signed only by Sanjay Vir Singh, Registrar, was sent to UGC on July 12, and the college is awaiting for the UGC’s response.

In the case of Christ College (Autonomous), no formal NoC was sent by the university. However, in a letter to UGC on May 13 under the subject “Issue of enrolment certificate to Christ College,” the Registrar said: “The university does not have any objection in the enrolment of students already enrolled and approved by the university as it is essential to safeguard the interest and career of students.”

Although the letter does not recommend an NoC to the college in unambiguous language, the statement quoted above was regarded as an NoC by UGC. A Syndicate member alleged that this was a violation of the decisions of the university and the State government. “The Registrar has worded his letters carefully and forwarded them to UGC without informing anybody,” he said.

When contacted, Mr. Singh said he had attached the Principal Secretary’s letter along with the one he sent to UGC. These letters, copies of which are with The Hindu, had been cleared by the Vice-Chancellor.