Government will move the Supreme Court to challenge stay orders of High Courts in some states on an UGC direction to all deemed universities that they should not call themselves as universities.
Acting on the instruction of the government, the University Grants Commission (UGC) had last year directed 130 deemed-to-be-universities not to use the word university with their names. Rather they should write their names followed by 'deemed-to-be-university', the UGC had said.
A number of institutions challenged the order in different High Courts which have stayed the UGC direction.
"Various High Courts, including Madras High Court, have stayed the UGC order. The government will move the Supreme Court to seek vacation of the stay order," a HRD Ministry official said. The deemed university status is given under Section 3 of the UGC Act to institutions of excellence. Such institutions used to call themselves 'deemed-to-be-university' till 2006. However, these institutions were allowed by the UGC to remove the word 'deemed' from their name and identify themselves as universities in 2006.
The UGC had given the permission following a recommendation by a committee comprising heads of UGC and All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and a former Secretary of Higher Education. But the UGC decision was later challenged in the Delhi High Court.
The petitioner claimed that the notification had created confusion with no visible difference between a university set up under an Act of Parliament or state legislature and a deemed university set up under the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.
The HRD Ministry then asked the UGC to withdraw its notification of 2006. The UGC was also asked to direct the deemed universities not to use the word 'university' with their names. A number of private deemed universities like Shanmuga Arts, Science, Technology & Research Academy, Vellore Institute of Technology and SRM and Sathyabama have challenged the UGC direction.