What is the Meaning of Deemed University?

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Meaning of Deemed University

Universities are the backbone of higher education, preparing you for the final steps towards a bright future. But, how do you differentiate between colleges and universities? And how do you further differentiate between the different kinds of universities in India? In 2019, the Supreme Court of India guidelines on types of universities categorized by UGC as well as which institutions are deemed to be as a university. Through this blog, we will be discussing the meaning of deemed university, how is it different from central and state universities as well as the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development and UGC for these universities.

Types of Universities in India

Before understanding the meaning of deemed university, let’s first understand the types of universities in the country. As per the categories of the University Grants Commission (UGC), universities in India are broadly divided into:

  • Central Universities
  • Private Universities
  • State Universities
  • Deemed-to-be Universities
  • Autonomous colleges

Now, let’s understand what each of these categories means:

Type of UniversityFeatures
Central UniversityEstablished or incorporated by the Central Act,
these universities are put under the direct purview
of the Ministry of Human Resource and
Development’s Department of Higher Education.

Assam University, University of Delhi, Rajiv Gandhi University,
Sikkim University, Aligarh Muslim University, etc. are
some of the central universities in India.
Private UniversitiesThese are also UGC-approved but are
not central or state-funded.

Also, they cannot establish off-campus colleges or
further affiliate any other college or institution
but are allowed to grant degrees. They strictly need
to adhere to UGC’s prescribed rules and regulations
for their operations and are inspected in a timely
basis by UGC’s committees as well.
State UniversitiesIncorporated under the Provincial or State Act,
these universities are founded, funded, and
operated by the state government. Also, they have
the authority to confer as well as grant degrees to individuals.
Deemed UniversitiesMainly referred to as a high performing institution,
a Deemed-to-be-university is given the status
of autonomy by the MHRD’s Department of Higher Education.

They have complete autonomy to decide their
offered programs, syllabus, application
and admission procedure
as well as fees. If a deemed university
continues to perform well,
they have the potential chance of becoming
a full-fledged university.
Autonomous Institutes & CollegesAllowed autonomy to control their admissions,
courses, syllabus, and other operations, autonomous
institutes and colleges are administrated by
the Department of Higher Education, MHRD.

Autonomous colleges have their affiliation
to a particular university
which issues degrees on their behalf while
autonomous institutes are more like deemed universities
and can grant diplomas as well as
enjoy the autonomy of their admissions, courses, etc.

Total Number of Universities in India

Presently, there are 789 universities in India. Take a look at the table below to find out the category-wise total number of universities in India: 

Universities Total Number
Private Universities260
Central Universities 47
Deemed-to-be Universities123
State Universities359

Deemed University as per UGC

To understand the meaning of deemed university, the definition given by UGC as per the new regulation is:

“An institution Deemed to be University means an institution of higher education as per the declaration carried out on the advice of the Commission by the Government following the Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956.”

According to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, a university is ‘deemed to be a university once approved by the UGC. This decision is taken by the central government, on the suggestion of UGC. The meaning of deemed university is, to be a high-performing institution that has been granted the autonomy of its operations, admissions as well as to design its course and fees structure by itself. After a thorough analysis, a deemed university is not associated with the state and is given the ‘deemed to be university tag. People regard deemed universities like the ones which have better infrastructure and facilities. Deemed universities offer specially designed courses that can aid in skill development and impart knowledge in more industry-oriented subjects. Moreover, the deemed university is also properly inspected and monitored by UGC Committees to ensure that they are adhering to the prescribed rules and regulations.

List of Deemed Universities in India

Under section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956, here is a list of deemed universities of major states and union territories in India:

State/UTDeemed Universities
Andhra PradeshGandhi Institute of Technology & Management;
Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidhyapeeth;
Sri Sathya Institute of Higher Learning;
Vigyan Foundation for Science, Technology & Research;
Koneru Lakshmaiah Education Foundation
DelhiIndian Agricultural Research Institute;
Indian Law Institute;
Jamia Hamdard;
National Museum Institute of History of Arts,
Conservation and Musicology;
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade;
National University of Educational Planning & Administration;
Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan;
Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapith;
TERI School of Advanced Studies
Jammu & KashmirCentral Institute of Buddhist Studies (CIBS)
HaryanaNational Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship
& Management (NIFTEM);
Maharishi Markandeshwar (Deemed to be University);
Lingaya’s Vidyapeeth;
National Brain Research Centre;
National Dairy Research Institute;
Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies
PunjabSant Logowal Institute of Engineering & Technology;
Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology
West BengalRamakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational & Research Institute;
Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS)
ChandigarhPunjab Engineering College
Banasthai Vidyapith;
Birla Institute of Technology & Science;
Institute of Advanced Studies in Education;
Jain Vishva Bharati Institute;
Janardan Rai Nagar Rajasthan Vidyapeeth;
The LNM Institute of Information Technology
MaharashtraBharati Vidyapeeth;
Central Institute of Fisheries Education;
D.Y Patil Educational Society;
Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences;
Deccan College Postgraduate & Research Institute;
Dr D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth;
Gokhale Institute of Politics & Economics;
Homi Bhabha National Institute;
Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research;
Defense Institute of Advanced Technology;
International Institute for Population Sciences;
Institute of Chemical Technology;
Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences;
MGM Institute of Health Sciences;
Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies;
Padmashree Dr. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeeth;
Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences;
Symbiosis International University;
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research;
Tata Institute of Social Sciences;
Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth

Meaning of Deemed University: How is it Categorized?

There are a few steps that need to be followed by a university to be awarded as the “deemed to be university” by the UGC. These steps are:

  • The said university should have been awarded the highest score by the NAAC and in some cases, by the NBA for consecutive five cycles.
  • In the case of the NBA, the credits should be awarded for all eligible courses. The university can also aim for NAAC/NBA’s highest category during application time or grab a position amongst the 100 National Ranking Framework list. 
  • The university should meet all the criteria of a good university in terms of academics, teaching methods, research facilities, etc.
  • The university should be awarding undergraduate as well as 5 post-graduate degrees for 3 years in succession.
  • It should be involved in various research and scholarly activities, along with different publication works. Faculty of Humanities should have a minimum of 10 publications, Faculty of Engineering and Medicine should have a minimum of 15 publications in journals referred by UGC, per year.
  • The university should have numerous full-time teaching staff for both teaching and research activities, as per the UGC guidelines.
  • The university should have proper infrastructure and facilities for research and data purposes. 
  • The university should have records of being privy to funding from various private/public agencies for different research purposes.
  • The university should be engaged in social and extension services, officially.
  • The university should accept not to offer distance learning courses.

State Universities vs Deemed Universities

State UniversitiesDeemed Universities
Establish by a law passed by the legislature of a stateIt is ‘deemed to be a university as defined in the UGC act of 1956
State universities decide their fee structure and course curriculum using a streamlined approach while keeping in mind that courses are affordable and economicalA deemed university has the autonomy to design its course fees and structure the way it wants to
Offers various facilities but not as advanced as Deemed UniversitiesState-of-the-art infrastructure and advanced facilities 
Grant degrees to the enrolled studentsMay or may not grant degrees as it depends on the course structure they choose

Difference between Deemed-to-be, Private and Autonomous Universities 

On the advice of UGC,
the autonomy granted by the Department of Higher Education (DHE), MHRD
UGC approvedThey come under the control of the Department of Higher Education (DHE), MHRD
Fully independent in
deciding courses, syllabus, fees, admissions 
Follows the UGC rules and regulations for daily operationsThey run independently over their daily operations, syllabus, admission procedure
They can grant degrees or diplomas to the studentsThey can grant degrees or diplomas to the students, post-approval of UGCDegrees are mostly awarded by the affiliated university (except for some Central/State-funded institutes like IITs or IIMs)
They can decide their own syllabusThey can decide their own syllabusMore academic freedom to change the syllabus and courses

Deemed University: Why is it Better than the Rest?

The UGC tag over your university is a privilege, the meaning of a deemed university is that the university was awarded for the remarkable performance based on their educational and research parameters. When pursuing higher educations all the universities are equal, but when it comes to specialisation and research purposes, a deemed university is regarded as the first choice due to the facilities, teaching staff, and course structure. 


What is the meaning of a Deemed University?

Deemed University is an accreditation granted to higher academic institutions in India to provide them with the status of a university. They enjoy the academic status, privileges, and autonomy in terms of deciding their courses, fees, admission, etc., similar to any university in the country. This accreditation is conferred by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development on the recommendation of UGC.

What is the difference between a Deemed University and a University?

The key difference between a deemed university and a university is that a deemed university is not a full-fledged university but is given the status of autonomy provided to a university by allotting it the title of “deemed” by DHE under MHRD on the advice of UGC. Deemed Universities mainly enjoy full autonomy and independence in decisions regarding their admissions, fees, courses, syllabus, etc. and if they continue to perform well, they are granted the status of a university by UGC.

Is Deemed University good?

Deemed Universities are considered as good as universities since they have good infrastructure facilities as well as top-notch courses to offer to students. They also provide placements as well as are well-known for their specially designed skill development courses.

Is IIT a Deemed University?

IITs are the Institutes of National Importance under the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, and are not under the UGC Act 1956. IITs are not deemed universities because they are not even granted the status of a university but are Central Funded Technical Institutes and come under the IIT council of MHRD, not UGC.

Is Deemed University private or government?

They are neither fully private universities, nor fully fall under government. A deemed-to-be-university is affiliated to UGC and enjoys independence in deciding syllabus, fees, courses, and admission process. 

Is the degree of Deemed University valid? 

Yes, the degree of Deemed University is reputable and valid as it is recognized by the government. 

The meaning of deemed university is in simple terms being awarded a title for being one of the best in their field. We at Leverage Edu understand that you want to be part of the best institutes for your education and with the help of our experts that dream can become a reality.

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