The Supreme Court Monday restrained the central government from derecognising 44 deemed universities for their questionable academic performance or poor infrastructure and assured tens of thousands of their students of a fair hearing.
A bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A.K. Patnaik ordered status quo for various deemed universities on several lawsuits by the varsities challenging the government's move to derecognise them.
'Nothing is going to happen to your institutions and your students till we dispose the matter,' observed Justice Bhandari while also issuing notices to all 44 universities separately to have their say in the matter.
The case was adjourned to March 9.
Thousands of students of these 44 deemed universities had protested in various parts of the country after the central government moved the Supreme Court Jan 18, seeking its permission to divest these institutions from their deemed university status.
Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal has said that an expert committee set up by his ministry had submitted an action taken report on these 44 deemed universities. And the government had accepted the findings.
The minister, however, had assured students that they would not suffer. 'We are going to take care of all students. And government's intention is not to put any student in problem. All students will get a university degree,' the minister said last week.
Of the 44 deemed universities, against whom the central government wants action through the apex court, 16 are in Tamil Nadu.
Jaypee Institute of Information, Noida, Gurukul Kangri Biswavidyalaya, Haridwar, National Museum Institute of History of Art, New Delhi, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Puducherry and Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute, Chennai, are some of the institutions against whom the central government is seeking action.