Centre, not sponsoring trusts, to appoint VCs of five private deemed-to-be-varsities

New Delhi: Vice chancellors or heads of five private deemed-to-be- universities, including TISS and Dayalbagh Educational Institute, will now be appointed by the central government and not their sponsoring trusts or societies, officials said. The change in appointments comes following new norms notified by the University Grants Commission (UGC) called the UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations.

According to the new regulations, heads of deemed universities that receive 50 per cent more funds from the government than their own annual earnings will be appointed by the Centre.

The first set of these regulations was notified in 2010, which was revised in 2016 and 2019. In rest of the cases, the vice chancellors shall be appointed by the chancellor from a panel of three names suggested by a search-cum-selection committee.

The move, however, has been questioned by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh who raised apprehensions about the autonomy of these institutions.

“Although over the years, Government of India has become the mainstay of funding for the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), successive governments ensured its autonomy by allowing the Tata Trusts to nominate the Chairman of the Governing Board and allowing the Board to select the Director. Now the Govt of India will appoint both the Chairman and the Director. We know what that means especially in the field of social sciences,” he tweeted.

These five universities include the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai; Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra; Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad; Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women, Coimbatore; and Gurukula Kangri, Haridwar.

“The ministry will set up a search-cum-selection committee and later issue appointment letters after obtaining approval from the cabinet appointments committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” a senior official said.

There are 126 deemed-to-be-universities in the country, out of which 40 are Centre and state governments controlled, and the remaining 86 are self-financing.

UGC is providing development and maintenance assistance to 21 identified deemed-to-be-universities under various schemes and programmes.