University Grant Commission (UGC) has ordered to drop the word ‘University’ from the names of 123 deemed-to-be Universities. PK Thakur, UGC Secretary, released a circular on 10th November specifying the order from Supreme Court to the directors of all the 123 universities.

The circular stated that on November 3rd, the apex court has ordered all these universities to curb using the using the word ’university’ in their names within one month. If they fail to do so the court has asked UGC to take necessary steps according to the Section 23 of the UGC Act, 1956. The circular also mentioned that these universities can use the term ‘deemed-to-be-university’ instead, within parenthesis.


This directive has come under the wake of Supreme Court suspending all B.Tech degrees granted between 2001 and 2005 through distance learning. The shocking notice that has affected millions of students across the country was issued from the apex court by a Bench of Justice UU Lalit and Justice AK Goel, curbing educational institutions from offering Computer Science and engineering courses through the distance education mode. According to the Supreme Court, technical education cannot be provided via correspondence courses, so it is now impossible to get a technical degree through the distance education mode.

Since the government’s proclamation is with the term ‘university’, the deemed to be universities can propose a substitute name (not using the word ‘university’) to the Ministry of HRD/UGC so that MHRD can make the required amendments, cited the circular. It also specified that these universities have to confirm their consent ‘within 15 days from the receipt of the letter’.

Some of the reputed institutions of our country that has received this circular includes- the Delhi based Indian Agricultural Research Institute (Pusa),  Indian institute of Foreign Trade and Jamia Hamdard. They also include Bangalore based Indian Institute of Science and Christ University and Mumbai based Central Institute of Fisheries Education and Homi Bhaba National Institute etc, to name a few.

Other institutes among the ones that has received the notice from the supreme court are- BIT Mesra (Ranchi), BITS Pilani, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (Mumbai), Forest Research Institute (Dehradun), Indian Veterinary Research Institute (Izzatnagar, UP), Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya (Haridwar), National Dairy Research Institute (Karnal), Symbiosis International University (Pune), etc.

Most of the Institutions reacted to this circular by mentioning that they were already using ‘deemed to be University’ in their names.

Director of the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (Izzatnagar, Bareilly, UP), RK Singh specified that this order from UGC will have no impact on IVRI as they do not use the word ‘University’ in their name since it’s initial days. According to them, the research institute is more important than the varsity. IVRI uses the phrase ‘deemed to be university’ in brackets for academic purposes.