Private varsities’ issue raised in Himachal assembly

Shimla, March 19 (IANS) The issue of allowing private universities to set up campuses in Himachal Pradesh came up in the state assembly Tuesday with members raising questions about the credentials of some of these institutions.

“Are the degrees being offered by these universities recognised or just pieces of paper? Are we playing with the future of students? Will the degrees have any value?” asked Congress member Asha Kumari.
She also questioned the permission granted by the government to some universities to buy land from private parties for their campuses.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said 15 private universities were allowed to open campuses from Jan 1, 2008, to Dec 31, 2012.
He said of these 15 universities, only six were inspected by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
“We have not received any report from the UGC (on the inspection of universities),” said Virbhadra Singh, who also holds higher education portfolio.
Asha Kumari said some universities bought more land than they needed.
The chief minister said 10 of the 15 varsities were allowed to buy land from private parties.
“A total of 1,685 bigha land has been purchased from private parties,” he added.