Special Correspondent

It is valid for five years and may be confirmed on the basis of performance

NEW DELHI: The Union Human Resource Development Ministry, on the advice of the University Grants Commission (UGC), has conferred deemed university status, under de novo category, on the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram, with immediate effect.

It is valid for five years subject to certain conditions. The IIST was opened a few months back by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Department of Space had applied for ‘Deemed-to-be-University’ status to the IIST under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956.

Some of the conditions put forth by the Ministry include: the functioning and performance of the IIST will be reviewed annually by an expert committee of the UGC. The status conferred on the IIST will be confirmed after five years on the basis of the performance reports of the expert committee and the recommendation of the UGC.

The IIST should confine to educational and related social and charitable activities. It should not undertake or engage in any activities that are commercial and profit-making in nature.

Its accounts will be open to inspection/ audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. There should be no diversion of its assets without prior permission of the Government of India/ UGC.

The institute should not affiliate any teaching institution and college; should immediately start post-graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral programmes in emerging areas of space technology; and should not conduct any distance education programme without prior approval of the UGC and the Distance Education Council.

Similarly, it should not start and run any study centre, extension centre, off-campus centre and off-shore campus without prior approval of the UGC/ the Government of India.