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Private or deemed universities are under rti

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RAVEENA_O

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Often queries are raised in our forum whether private or deemed universities are under the ambit of Right to Information Act or not. Many such private or deemed universities did not designate Public Information Officers and no RTI link provided in their website. Mandatory disclosures required under Section-4 are also not complied with by these private or deemed universities. They ignore RTI applications and Appeals.

 

Private or Deemed Universities are public authorities within the meaning of Section-2(f) of RTI Act. The legal provisions which make these private or deemed universities Public Authority are:-

 

Section-3 of the UGC Act 1956 reads as under:

Application of Act to institutions for higher studies other than Universities:

The Central Government may, on the advice of the Commission, declare, by notification in the Official Gazette, that any institution for higher education, other than a University, shall be deemed to be a University for the purposes of this Act, and on such a declaration being made, all the provisions of this Act shall apply to such institution as if it were a University within the meaning of clause (f) of section 2.

 

Section 2 clause (f) of the UGC Act further stipulates as under:

"University" means a University established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a Provincial Act or a State Act, and includes any such institution as may, in consultation with the University concerned, be recognized by the Commission in accordance with the regulations made in this behalf under this Act.

 

Section-2(h) of RTI Act, 2005 provides as under:

(h) “public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self- government established or constituted—

 

(a) by or under the Constitution;

(b) by any other law made by Parliament;

© by any other law made by State Legislature;

(d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any—

 

Private Universities are created either by law made by Parliament or by state legislature or by notification issued or order made by appropriate government, without which they are not considered as deemed / private universities. ( Or else, they remain only fake universities). A conjunctive reading of the definition of public authority under section-2(h) of RTI Act, with Section-2(f) and Section-3 of University Grants Commission Act, 1956, would amply make it clear that such private or deemed universities are public authorities.

 

Consequently, each such private or deemed university is required to designate Public Information Officer and First Appellate Authority and decide RTI Applications and Appeals received by it.

 

In case any private or deemed university is not responding to RTI Applications, the applicant may file First Appeal, Second Appeal and Complaint before CIC or SIC, as the case may be.

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