SC orders NAAC to decide on universities' accreditation

In the wake of the coming academic session, Supreme Court has ordered NAAC to take a decision on the de-recognition of select universities, reports a daily

The Supreme Court of India (SC) on April 23 directed the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) to put forward their decision on the accreditation of 41 blacklisted deemed universities within the period of two weeks. The list of the 41 universities recommended to be derecognized was prepared by the P N Tandon committee. The court's directive comes in the wake of the fast-approaching admission season.

"In our considered opinion, the NAAC shall look into the matter and will decide the issue of accreditation and proceed as per law. If the NAAC desires to consult the UGC or consider the report (in relation to deemed universities) submitted by the UGC, it is free to do so. It is hereby made clear that any decision given by the NAAC shall be subject to the result of the writ petition, as well as the further deliberations in the backdrop of the rules framed by the Union of India," the apex court bench of Justices Dipak Misra, R K Agrawal and P C Pant stated in its order.

The bench further state that, "As the admission time in the universities is fast approaching, the NAAC shall decide the matter within two weeks hence. If the NAAC has already accredited a university, the same status shall remain with the university till the next date of deliberation."

"The court's directive assumes significance in the wake of the NAAC executive committee's decision in Bangalore on January 5, 2013 that the council shall not assess and accredit the deemed universities whose cases are pending before the Supreme Court and will wait for the court's decision," Ravi Bharadwaj, a lawyer told the daily. 

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted a directive to the court that “the competent authority of the Central government had received consultation feedback from all the statutory bodies i.e. All India Council for Technical Education, University Grants Commission, National Board of Accreditation and the NAAC, in relation to the framing of new rules and criteria for universities to continue as deemed and their accreditation.”

If this process is followed, some of the universities may lose their deemed status and their accreditation. The lawyers that represented the universities submitted a request that while this process is pending, NAAC should decide the accreditation of the universities so that students can they make a decision in the coming academic year.

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