The government is probing the "spurt" in permissions granted for setting up deemed universities and examining whether they are following the norms laid down for them, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal said Tuesday.
"We have set up a committee. We want to make sure the deemed universities are following the norms. We are carrying out a review," Sibal said during question hour in the Rajya Sabha.
"There has been a spurt (in granting permissions). As and when the report is received, we will proceed further. If there are any shortcomings, we will deal with it," he added.
Responding to a supplementary from K. Malaisamy (AIADMK) on what had prompted the probe, Sibal said: "If something has gone wrong in the past, we must correct it."
Replying to another supplementary from Kalraj Mishra of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the minister said: "As long as they give excellent education, we have no problem. There is no coloured vision but if something is wrong, we need to do something."
Over 125 deemed universities have been set up in the country since the country's independence in 1947. Of these, 62 have been established in the last five years alone.
On June 4, after a review meeting with officials of the University Grants Commission (UGC), Sibal ordered that the deemed university status awarded to these institutions be reviewed. He also ruled that all pending requests for deemed university status be kept in abeyance.
"The minister has asked the UGC to take up review of the functioning of all the 'deemed-to-be-universities' and report deficiencies within the next three months with respect to maintenance of standards, especially with regard to the availability of the qualified faculty and the infrastructure in the 'deemed-to-be-universities' as well as the sanctity of the admission process for enrolment of students," a statement issued by the HRD ministry said.