The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has recently asked the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) to constitute a working group to study private universities in an effort to streamline their functioning.

The group was also asked to study the existing mechanism to monitor the functioning of the private universities in each state.

“The expert panel will also look into the fee regulation being adopted by the state governments with respect to private universities,” a ministry official was quoted as saying by a news agency.

The move from the MHRD came in the wake of many complaints it received against the private universities on various issues starting from the collection, and fixing of the fee, admission process to the appointment of faculty, and timely payment of their salaries.

“The working group will study various Acts under which the private universities have been set up to find out the salient features of all these Acts, especially with respect to the autonomy provided to private universities, existing regulatory and monitoring mechanism,” the official added.

The ministry will take further course of action depending on the report submitted by the working group to bring a new change in the existing regulatory framework for the private universities.

Also read: MHRD forms panel to regulate deemed universities

“Streamlining of the functioning of the private universities in the country is the need of the hour for the growth of higher education in private sector under a robust regulatory mechanism so that it remains a win-win scenario for both the private universities and students,” he added.

The official further said that the new regulation will try to ensure that these students maintain quality and standard of education that they provide with an adequate mechanism for redressal of grievances of the students, teachers and the staff.

Till 1980, higher education sector was controlled by the government, but with the liberalization of economic policy, the country has seen a robust growth in private institutions offering higher education in India.

The country so far has as many as 864 universities, 40,026 colleges, 11,669 stand-alone institutions like teacher education institutes in the country.

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