UGC allows Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan to open off-campus centers


New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) granted an exemption to the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, a fully government-funded deemed university to run off-campus centers, even as it is embroiled in a controversy with some of India’s leading institutes over their off-campus centers.

Following a request from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), the UGC decided to exempt the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan from the stipulation present in the Clause 12.03A (Off-campuses) of the UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2010, which requires the deemed universities to limit its number of off-campus centers to six. The decision was taken in a meeting held on December 21.

Though, the exemption applies to all institutions that are fully government-funded, government-owned, and government-managed, there was no information yet regarding how many institutes other than Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan actually meet the requirements.

The exemption will help Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, which already runs 10 off-campus centers, to open its new proposed center in Agartala.

Last month, the UGC had sent notices to ten top deemed Universities to immediately close down some of their off-campus centers which it alleged to be operating without taking any prior permission from UGC or HRD ministry.

The institutes to which notices were sent included Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), Birla Institute of Technology (Pilani), Birla Institute of Technology (Mesra), Homi Bhabha National Institute (Mumbai), Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (Mumbai), Indian School of Mines (Dhanbad), Banasthali Vidyapeeth (Rajasthan), Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Science and Technology (Thanjavur), Indian Veterinary Research Institute (Izatnagar, UP), and Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education (Gwalior).

Following this, BITS Pilani has filed a writ petition against the UGC order to close down its off-campus centers in Goa and Hyderabad.

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