UGC asks ten top institutions to close their off-campus centres

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed ten Indian institutions to immediately close their off-campus centres. The commission has said that these centres are “unauthorised” and have been set up against policies.

These institutes include some highly reputed names like Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies University, Homi Bhabha National Institute, and BITS Pilani. The other names include Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Indian School of Mines Dhanbad, Banasthali University (Rajasthan), Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Science and Technology (PRIST), Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Uttar Pradesh and The Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education (LNIPE) in Gwalior, which is sponsored by the youth affairs ministry.

Sunita Siwach, Deputy Secretary of UGC, sent out notices to these ten institutions last week. The notices said that these centres have been established in violation of clause 6 of the UGC guidelines and Article 12(5) of the Deemed University regulations of 2010. These institutions have been given a month to submit a report on the action that they take regarding these centres.

Prof RB Grover, who serves as the vice-chancellor of Homi Bhabha National Institute, was surprised at this sudden move by the commission. “We have not yet received the communication but we are quite taken aback at this. This has to be some misunderstanding and we would like a dialogue with them on the matter,” he said.

The notice also mentioned that these centres were established without an approval by the ministry of human resource and development, and if these are not closed, “necessary action” would be initiated, reported Business Insider.

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