Indian institutions barred from using ‘university’ title

Higher education regulator moves to correct confusion over status of specialist institutions

November 17, 2017
India map
Source: iStock

More than 120 higher education institutions in India have been told to stop using the word “university” in their title.

In a letter sent to institutions, the University Grants Committee (UGC) ordered 123 institutions known as “deemed-to-be-universities” to drop the word “university” from their names, The Indian Express reported.

Deemed-to-be-universities are defined as an “institution working at a very high standard in specific area of study”, but the UGC – India’s higher education regulator – said that a recent Supreme Court hearing had found that many of these institutions were incorrectly using the title “university”.

“It has come to our notice that many institutions that are conferred the status of deemed-to-be-universities are using the word ‘university’, which in our view is opposed to the spirit of section 23 of the UGC Act,” said the circular dated 10 November.

The move would affect institutions such as Manav Rachna University and Lingaya’s University in Haryana, Christ University and Jain University, both in Bengaluru, and Symbiosis International University, in Pune, said The Indian Express, which added that many institutions may have not been at fault over the naming due to confusion over how they could use the term.

These institutions will be invited to submit a new name for approval to the UGC, the letter said.

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