The HRD Ministry has constituted a three-member committee to study the functioning of deemed universities and suggest regulatory mechanisms for them within four months.
The panel is headed by former chief justice of Patna high court L Narasimhan Reddy and include Additional Secretary in the HRD Ministry Sukhbir Singh Sandhu and Chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Anil Sahasrabuddhe as other members.
The move comes after the Supreme Court ordered suspension of engineering degrees awarded by four deemed universities, putting the future of nearly 30,000 engineers in limbo. These institutes were conducting distance education programmes in technical education without necessary approval.
"The committee will study the functioning of deemed universities and examine whether more institutes are conducting programmes without proper approvals," a senior official said, adding "It will also recommend regulatory mechanisms for deemed universities."
The University Grants Commission (UGC) had last week suspended engineering degrees awarded by four deemed-to-be- universities -- JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Institute of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE), Rajasthan, Allahabad Agricultural Institute (AAI) and Vinayaka Mission's Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu.
Those institutes have also been directed by the apex court to return by May 31, 2018 tuition fees and other expenditure incurred by the students.
AICTE rules mandate that engineering degrees cannot be offered through distance education mode.
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