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Sunday, November 05, 2017

SC suspends engg degrees via distance learning | The Tribune

  • Affected students (2001-05)  to get two chances to clear AICTE-UGC test, failing which their degrees will be “recalled and cancelled”
  • If a student does not wish to appear in such tests, the money deposited towards tuition and other fee will be refunded 
  • Students can exercise the option by January 15, 2018, and the institutes have to refund the students’ money by May 31

Photo: Satya Prakash

"Affected students to get only two chances to clear AICTE-UGC test, failing which their degrees would be "recalled and cancelled"" according to Satya Prakash, Legal Editor at The Tribune.

Photo: The Tribune

Ruling that technical education could not be provided through correspondence courses, in a landmark verdict affecting millions of students across India, a Bench of Justice AK Goel and Justice UU Lalit today restrained educational institutions from providing courses in subjects such as engineering and computer science in the distance education mode.

It suspended engineering degrees granted between 2001 and 2005 to all graduates through distance learning by JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Rajasthan, Institute of Advanced Studies in Education, Rajasthan (IASE), Allahabad Agricultural Institute, Allahabad, and Vinayak Mission Research Foundation (VMRF), Tamil Nadu, for want of adherence to statutory guidelines/policies. 

The degrees would remain suspended till the students pass an examination under the joint supervision of AICTE-UGC. “Every single advantage” on the basis of the degree would also stand suspended till then, the court ordered, directing the CBI to carry out a thorough investigation into the conduct of officials who had granted permissions against the policy statement. 

The conduct of institutions which abused their position to advance their commercial interest illegally would also be probed, the court said. It directed the UGC to take appropriate steps and implement Section 23 of the UGC Act and restrain deemed universities from using the word "university" within a month. 

The court asked the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to conduct appropriate written and practical tests for the students, with expenses towards conducting the tests to be recovered from the universities concerned. The top court issued a series of directions likely to affect hundreds of distance education centres which have been offering technical courses through correspondence and distance learning.
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Source: The Tribune