LDF gives nod to private, deemed-to-be universities

At the LDF meet, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said these institutions would have to follow reservation norms. Photo: File Image

Thiruvananthapuram: Giving a go-by to its past strident opposition, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has now given the go-ahead to the Kerala Government to allow private and deemed-to-be universities in the State. At the LDF meet, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said these institutions would have to follow reservation norms.

The Central government’s move to grant permission to foreign universities was not discussed in the meeting. Responding to a question on the issue, LDF convener E P Jayarajan said that if the Centre allows it, they could be opened here too naturally, but if they prove to be harmful to the interests of the State, they would not be welcome.

“Private universities will not be denied permission if they help to improve the standard of education. There is no bar on investments, including in higher education. But they would not be allowed to have their way by pulling the strings," stated Jayarajan.

M V Govindan, CPM State Secretary, too echoed Jayarajan's views.

"Unilateral permission cannot be granted and that detailed discussions would have to be conducted on the issue," Govindan said after a meeting of his party's State Secretariat.

The CPM had earlier directed that organizations of students, youths and teachers should abide by the norms of such institutions. The meeting also gave its green signal for attracting foreign investment in the maximum number of sectors.

Special laws needed
Special laws would be needed for establishing private universities. The Higher Education Department should come out with laws and regulations to ensure their control. Laws were passed in the State when autonomous status was granted to some colleges. Similar legislation would be needed in the case of private and deemed-to-be-universities.

Although deemed-to-be universities function under the norms of the University Grants Commission (UGC), the government must formulate norms for their operation.

Many of the top aided colleges in the State have approached the government for allowing the deemed-to- be-university status. The Higher Education Council has recommended to the government that even if these institutions become a deemed-to-be-university, their aided status should continue. Several rounds of discussion were conducted in this regard.

Whatever be the nature of the university, such institutions can attract students only if the degrees of the graduates are recognized. Only if the degrees are equivalent to those of other universities will the graduates be able to use their qualification to obtain jobs or go for higher education. This is granted by the expert committee functioning under the Higher Education Council.

The government expects that through this arrangement, it could ensure control of the private and deemed-to-be-universities.  

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.