New Delhi : Even before the controversy dies down over the ‘Institute of Eminence’ tag granted to a non-existing Jio Institute of Mukesh Ambani, the government has come out with a proposal to declare any yet-to-be-established institution as a deemed university under a ‘de-novo’ category.

An institution will get the recognition in the new category for teaching and research in ‘emerging areas of knowledge.’ The emerging areas are defined as those are ‘considered desirable and useful but not currently taught in the country.’

The provision for the new category is surreptitiously buried in the 35-page draft UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2018, published early this week by the University Grants Commission, inviting feedback and comments latest by July 25. These regulations are to replace the 2016 regulations for the deemed universities.

Any sponsor can apply online to the Human Resources Development Ministry for the deemed university status under the de-novo category by submitting a detailed project report containing 15-year action plan/strategic vision plan and a five-year implementation plan, fulfilling the eligibility conditions and stipulations in the draft regulations.

Some of the conditions that are to be met at the time of declaration as deemed to be university are: Corpus fund of minimum Rs 40 cr, hostel facility for at least 25% that is to be increased to 50% within five years,  the institute must have built-up area of minimum 30 square metres per student and entire land of the proposed institute be either freehold or leasehold for at least 30 years. The corpus fund is quite high as it is Rs 15 crore for institutions running engineering and medicine courses, Rs 8 crore for management, law and education and Rs 7 crore for institutions conducting other programmes.

The regulations also lay down rules for other deemed universities, running off-campus courses, their management and maintenance of standards besides bar on any capitation fee or donation and the fee structure as per the UGC’s fee regulations and refund of fees to students withdrawing from the courses.

It is also clarified that an institution deemed to be university shall not use the word ‘university’ in its name but it may mention the words ‘deemed to be university’ within parenthesis after the name. They are also barred from prefixing the words ‘Indian, national or international institute’ in their names except for use of “Indian or national institute” only by those run by the Centre.

The deemed universities have to also follow the government’’s reservation policy and required to be open to all irrespective of religion, caste or creed.