In a huge setback to millions of students who completed engineering studies via correspondence courses in the past 16 Years provided by deemed universities, the Supreme Court last week announced that the degrees were unacceptable, putting them at jeopardy of losing jobs got hold of based on the certificates.
A panel of Justices U U Lalit and A K Goel noted that the UGC (University Grants Commission) and the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) did not accept distance learning programs in engineering academics and the endorsement given by the DEC (Distance Education Council) for such courses was against the law.
The SC move reveals the extent to which the regulatory network was negotiated since the courses were being operated for over 1.5 Decades without drawing serious inspection. The top court ordered the Center to make an oversight system to control deemed universities, claiming that UGC totally failed to restrain the commercialization of edification. It ordered the government to evaluate the status of various institutions of deemed university.
The court judged a group of petitions related to the correspondence courses’ validity of 4 deemed universities namely Institute of Advanced Studies in Education in Rajasthan, JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation in Tamil Nadu, and Allahabad Agricultural Institute, which have been offering engineering tutoring via correspondence ever since 2001 in spite of AICTE condemnation.
The apex court limited all deemed universities from providing correspondence courses without the endorsement of the AICTE and ordered a CBI probe in opposition to administrators who allowed the universities to operate the programs from 2001. The court passed the order post ASG Maninder Singh and counsel of UGC as well as Anil Soni, the AICTE advocate, told the court that courses for distance learning in engineering were not allowed.
Holding the degree subjected by universities is unacceptable. The court, on the other hand, opened a tiny window for candidates who took admission from 2001 to 2005 to revitalize their degree by facing a new examination by AICTE. It claimed that they must be given one more chance as they completed the course below the feeling that the course is suitable in the light of approval of DEC.