During past four years, 98 private universities have been established in the country taking the total number of private universities to 145 in India
New Delhi: The University Grants Commission has inspected over a third of the 145 private universities in the country and found only five of them in order, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Friday, reports PTI.
"UGC has completed inspection of 53 private universities. It found five in order...," Human Resource Development Minister MM Pallam Raju said during Question Hour.
He, however, did not specify whether irregularities or shortcomings were found in the others.
Raju said 98 private universities have been established in the last four years.
Explaining the procedure, he said UGC gives time to universities to rectify any deficiency. If norms or guidelines are not followed, "UGC can order closure of courses but it has no power to close the universities."
Private universities can be established either by the Central government by an Act of Parliament or by state governments by an Act of state legislature.
"All private universities existing in the country have been set up by the Acts of State Legislature and the norms and parameters to establish private universities are decided by state governments concerned," he said.
Though UGC sets norms for standards of teaching and examinations, neither "UGC nor the HRD Ministry has any power to approve or disapprove a private university duly set up by a state through a state Act," he said.
The government, he said, can deal with malpractices and take action against universities and institutions after passage of the Prohibition of Unfair Practices Bill and the Regulatory Authority Bill.
"These Bills will strengthen cause of quality education," he said, adding UGC will expedite investigation of malpractices.
Vegetables prices decreased by 1.19% in November however, prices of potato, wheat, cereals, rice, pulses, edible oil and sugar went up
New Delhi: Inflation declined to 7.24% in November mainly on account of lower prices of some vegetables, giving a cue to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to consider interest rate cut next week to promote sagging growth, reports PTI.
Vegetables prices decreased by 1.19% in November this year as compared to surge of 10.68% in same month a year ago.
Inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), came down to 7.24% in November from 9.46% in the same month a year ago.
However, prices of some food items like potato, wheat, cereals, rice, pulses, edible oil and sugar went up during the period.
Inflation, as measured by the WPI, stood at 7.45% in the previous month.
"It is a welcome trend if inflation rate has come down... We should work towards more comfortable level of inflation which is 5-6%," Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan said.
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia termed moderation in inflation as a "very good signal".
"The time has come to recognise that inflation is clearly softening and growth is weak and I am sure that RBI knows what to do", he added.
Yesterday RBI Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty said cutting the repo rate (at which RBI lends to banks) will be possible only when inflation comes down. However, he expected inflation to come down in about two-three months.
Meanwhile, retail inflation in November moved up to 9.9%, mainly on account of higher prices of sugar, vegetables, edible oil and clothing.
Sibal said there has been misuse of Section 66A of IT Act in some states and the Centre will soon issue an advisory to check it
New Delhi: Against the backdrop of some arrests on posting on social networking sites, Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday said a provision in the Information Technology (IT) Act has been misused in some states and the Centre will soon issue an advisory to check it, reports PTI.
"As per our assessment, there has been misuse (of Section 66A of IT Act) in some states...It is my personal opinion and also of Central Government that it (misuse) is not right. Hopefully, we will issue an advisory at the earliest," Sibal said replying to questions in Rajya Sabha.
He, however, said the misuse is not rampant.
Sibal was responding to questions on whether Section 66A is prone to misuse by law enforcement agencies and what steps the government is taking to amend it to check the misuse.
There has been uproar after two girls were arrested in November over a Facebook post criticising the bandh like situation in Mumbai after Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray's death. Another boy was arrested for posting 'vulgar' comments against MNS chief Raj Thackeray and the people of Maharashtra on the social networking site.
Section 66A provides for punishment up to three years for sending via electronic mail messages which are grossly offensive, menacing, insulting, dangerous or causing inconvenience.
The minister said there was a need to educate the police and implementing agencies on the issue.
Sibal said Section 66A was provided in the Act based on the international best practices and similar provisions in the Communications Acts of a number of countries.
The provisions, he said, are in line with the freedom of speech and expression and citizen's right enshrined in Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution.
Sibal said India will protect right of freedom of speech to the citizen with greater vigour than any other country.
Sibal said the government has held discussion with stakeholders including industry associations, intermediaries and users to address the issue of proper implementation of the provisions of the Act.
"It has been agreed to provide necessary guidelines to prevent misinterpretation of the provisions of the Act and to minimise the unintended consequences," he said.