Fearing UGC ire, Symbiosis drops ‘university’ tag, switches to new name

The final letter by the UGC, sent to Symbiosis and other institutes on November 29, warned that by 4 pm on November 30, the institute had to stop using ‘university’ as part of its name and communicate the same to the UGC

Written by Alifiya Khan , Aman Misra | Pune | Updated: December 1, 2017 9:20 am
UGC, Symbiosis, niversity Grants Commission, Symbiosis Institute, Education News, Indian Express, Indian Express News The final letter by the UGC, sent to Symbiosis and other institutes on November 29, warned that by 4 pm on November 30, the institute had to stop using ‘university’ as part of its name and communicate the same to the UGC (File)

A day after the University Grants Commission (UGC) sent a final warning notice to seven institutes, asking them to drop the tag of ‘university’ from their names or risk losing their deemed university status, Symbiosis has complied with the directive. The final letter by the UGC, sent to Symbiosis and other institutes on November 29, warned that by 4 pm on November 30, the institute had to stop using ‘university’ as part of its name and communicate the same to the UGC.

Dr Vidya Yeravdekar, principal director, Symbiosis, said that the institute has written to the UGC on Thursday, stating that it would be called Symbiosis International (Deemed University) henceforth. The institute was earlier called the Symbiosis International University.

“We have no other option… otherwise, they will withdraw the deemed university status. They issued the notice to many deemed universities. A group of these universities have moved the Supreme Court, requesting a stay on the order… the case comes up for hearing tomorrow. Since the deadline is 4 pm today, we wrote to the UGC, saying that we will change our name to ‘Symbiosis International (Deemed University)… but if there is a stay on this notification, then they should allow us to revert to our original name,” said Yeravdekar.

The UGC had earlier put 123 deemed-to-be-universities on notice, asking them to drop the title of university from their name. This announcement came after the Supreme Court, on November 3, directed UGC to stop deemed-to-be universities from using the word ‘university’ in their names. Several institutions from Pune, including Bhartiya Vidyapeeth, Dr DY Patil Vidyapeeth, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences University, among others, were among institutes doing so.

According to Yeravdekar, the first UGC notice, sent on November 10, was addressed to all 123 universities. After receiving the notice, Symbiosis wrote to the UGC, asking for clarification on many issues. “… We have so many important collaborations with foreign institutions… what happens to those as they were signed with SIU? Foreign students come here to study, now which degree will they get? What about our own students, those who have graduated and those who are still studying… there are a lot of things to consider… we didn’t get any reply to our letter… instead, we received this letter on November 29, leaving us with no choice but to comply. However, our questions are still unanswered,” she said.

While officials from UGC could not be reached for comment, sources said while most of the 123 universities had communicated to the UGC that they would follow the directives, 29 institutions, including Symbiosis, had not replied.

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