MUMBAI: SVKM’s NMIMS University opened five sub-campuses without UGC approval. The commission’s devastating affidavit in court details the university’s permission infractions. The city’s top deemed-to-be university runs ODL courses without UGC approval.
The UGC restricted NMIMS from admitting ODL students for three intakes in an April 17 public notification. The UGC responded to NMIMS’s court appeal with the affidavit. Respond in two weeks, university.
The UGC filed the affidavit denying relief to the university, claiming that ODL programme admissions had been prohibited as a punishment. The affidavit alleges serious violations of the nation’s top education body’s rules. The UGC stated that the institution began the Bengaluru and Shirpur off-campus trips without education ministry or UGC clearance and thereafter sought ex post facto approval.
The affidavit added that NMIMS presented a new application for off-campuses in Bengaluru, Shirpur, Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai, and Indore after the Centre designated it a Category I institution. In January 2021, the UGC rejected Navi Mumbai and Indore bids after providing LoIs only for Bengaluru and Shirpur in 2019 and Hyderabad in 2020. The document indicated these campuses were begun without authority, and a final decision is pending.
According to the UGC (Open and Distance Learning and Online Programmes) Regulations 2020 and its amendments, NMIMS was among the top 100 universities in the NIRF ranking and eligible to start online programmes without UGC approval if it met all requirements. From January 2021 on, NMIMS could only provide BCom and BBA online.
The UGC stated that admission “shall not be made in anticipation of recognition” for ODL courses.
NMIMS admitted students for January–February 2023 without ODL permission. After the public notice, NMIMS appealed to the UGC, saying 50,000 students were admitted in 2023, but the UGC claimed the court petition said 25,000. Distance-learning architecture and pharmacy courses are disallowed.
On October 12, 2022, the UGC informed NMIMS that the director is not a permanent, full-time professor, technological resources are inadequate, entry-level eligibility criteria for science programmes need revision, and proposed ODL course fees are high.