Thursday, January 28, 2010

[rti_india] CIC slams UGC for lack of transparency




CIC slams UGC for lack of transparency


Himanshi Dhawan | TNN


New Delhi: In the wake of the deemed university controversy, Central Information Commission has slammed University Grants Commission (UGC) for lack of transparency in information related to deemed universities. Ruling that UGC appeared to act as if the RTI Act did not apply to it, the information watchdog has awarded a compensation of Rs 2,000 to an applicant and issued a showcause notice to UGC for not responding within the stipulated 30-day period.

An applicant, A N Prasad, had sought information related to the number of times the review committee had rejected applications of colleges and universities for deemed status during the period between 2005-2009 and copies of reports on the basis of which the recognition could not be granted to a college or university during the same period. Information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi ruled that UGC had no reasons for refusing the information. In his order, Gandhi said, "It is a very sad state of affairs that UGC appears to be operating without any understanding of what is happening. The commission has earlier also directed UGC to put up various information under its Section-4 obligations. UGC has failed to comply with these."

The order added, "UGC appears to be operating with no respect for the rule of law and it is behaving as if the RTI Act does not apply to it. The commission takes a very dim view of such behaviour by UGC and recommends the chairman to ensure that its officers are trained in the RTI Act and learn how to respect the law."

The CIC in an order in September 2009 had asked UGC to disclose details related to the number of institutions applying for deemed university status, members of review panels and their reports.



1 comment:

  1. Can someone please ask the UGC for the following information:
    1. Constitution, Statute or other equivalent legal document of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), which was "deemed to be a university" in 1958, under Section 3 of UGC Act.
    2. UGC's approval letters for new departments and disciplines started in IARI, like "Computer Applications in Agriculture", "Environmental Sciences", "Molecular Biology" etc.
    3. UGC's sanction letter for IARI declaration of its "Mycology & Plant Pathology" Division as "Advanced Centre for Plant Virus Education & Research"
    4. The legislation if any under which Indian Council of Agricultural Research has taken over the functions of UGC vis-a-vis agricultural universities.
    For personal reasons, I cannot myself apply for the information.