That some of the country’s private universities are nothing but business houses is an open secret and almost an established truth. Considering the quality of the education they provide, recruitment policies, and number of teachers and their qualities, especially mode of handling financial matters, people have come to the above conclusion. And they were not wrong. There remains no doubt about the nature of these entities when none other than the Chairman of the University Grants Commission evaluates them similarly.
According to law, private universities are supposed to submit their audit reports on a regular basis. But many of these business houses refrain from submitting financial statements and thus are violating rules. This only means that in financial matters they have something to hide from the authorities. It is not without reasons that strong allegations of fund embezzlement by the trustee board members of some of the private universities have been made.Much to the expectation of the common people, the government has decided to launch an investigation into the alleged financial irregularities in private universities. The Education Ministry recently asked the UGC to take such an initiative. An investigation into the affairs of these universities was much overdue.
A thoroughgoing investigation has become urgent to remove all such irregularities as an immediate target. This is mandatory for ensuring transparency and establishing financial discipline in these universities. But this may be a difficult job for the UGC because the owners of the universities are reportedly very much influential persons.
However, establishing financial discipline in the universities should not be the ultimate objective of the investigation. These universities are doubly responsible for delivering below standard education on one hand and involvement in financial fraud on the other. These two wrong practices arise out of their commercial nature. And so long they will remain the same, financial irregularities will only recur. So, the ultimate objective of the UGC initiative should be to turn these business hubs into houses of quality education.