Institutions deemed to be universities or simply "Deemed universities"
“Deemed Universities” are institutions that are conferred the status of a university because of their long tradition of teaching, or specialisation and excellence in a particular area o knowledge, e.g., Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (Pune), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai), Birla Institute of Technology & Science (Pilani). Recently NIT's are given status of Deemed Universities
They enjoy complete autonomy in respect of developing and innovating academic programmes on their own. The “deemed university” status is granted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in accordance with Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956 with the approval of the Department of Secondary and Higher Education in the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Institutions of National Importance
The “Institutions of national importance” are established or so designated by Acts of Parliament. So far 12 such institutions had been established, which include the six Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Statistical Institute.
The unitary universities have a single campus and largely concentrate on postgraduate studies and research, though some may also have provision for undergraduate programmes, e.g., Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Some of the unitary universities have also colleges under them known as university colleges or constituent colleges.
Affiliating universities generally have a central campus on which are located departments or schools or institutes that impart postgraduate centres located outside the campus in different districts. Affiliating universities may also have university colleges (within the campus) as well as constituent colleges (outside the campus). These universities have variable number of colleges affiliated to them. They are located in districts within the jurisdiction of the university as specified in the Acts. There are more than 9200 colleges affiliated to universities. Most of the Indian universities are of the affiliating type with the larger ones like Calcutta, Mumbai, Bangalore, Osmania, each having more than 250 affiliated colleges under its wings with enrolment of students exceeding one lakh. The University Grants Commission has now established the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in accordance with Section 12CCC o the UGC Act, 1956, to assess the quality of education imparted by universities and colleges and grade them accordingly.
While most of the “deemed universities” and “institutions of national importance” deal with specific subjects, there is now a new trend of establishing subject-oriented universities in various States. To begin with, one agricultural university was established in each State. All colleges of agriculture, forestry, veterinary and animal husbandry, and home science affiliated to different universities in the State, were transferred to this university as its constituent colleges. The number of agricultural universities is 28.
Another recent development is the establishment of exclusive Open Universities. Traditionally, a large number of universities, during the last three decades or so, had been offering correspondence courses (distance education or distance learning as the system is now known) for the benefit of those, who for various reasons cannot pursue higher studies in colleges and universities. While as many as 60 universities now offer correspondence courses, ten separate universities, called Open Universities, had been established in different states for providing education exclusively through distance learning mode.