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BITS-Pilani Challenges UGC Notice, Refuses to Shut Down Off Campus Centers
On November 9, the country's apex higher education regulator shot off notices to ten deemed to be universities, including Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies University, BITS Pilani, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Indian School of Mines-Dhanbad, Banasthali University (Rajasthan), Ponnaiyah Ramajayam Institute of Science & Technology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute (UP) and the ministry of youth affairs-sponsored Lakshmibai National University of Physical Education-Gwalior to immediately shut their allegedly 'unauthorized' off-campus centers.
Over a month after the University Grants Commission’s order, one of them has contradicted the order and taken the case further to the court.
Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani has taken the case to the court and has filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court last week. BITS Pilani has challenged UGCs order to shut down its off-campus centers in Goa and Hyderabad and will seek a stay on UGC's closure orders for its off-campus centers.
The Institute has hired senior advocate Harish Salve for the case. Salve confirmed the development on the case. "Yes, a writ petition has been filed on behalf of BITS-Pilani on the UGC notice. It is coming up soon," Salve said.
BITS-Pilani Acting Vice-Chancellor VS Rao had earlier issued a strong statement in response to the UGC notice, terming it 'arbitrary'. The November 19 statement by Rao clearly said the institute would initiate "necessary legal action in the matter to ensure that the issue is resolved speedily and favorably", failing a positive response from UGC on the matter.
UGCs decision has put the fate of many students at risk. If the colleges are shut down, studies of many students will come to an halt in the middle of the semester and it has not been decided whether the huge amount of fees paid by them will be returned or not. What do you think is the correct way to resolve this problem?
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