To protect the interests of hundreds of students who are affected by Supreme Courts’ decision that suspended engineering degrees secured via correspondence since 2001 from certain deemed universities, the Union HRD ministry has called a meeting of the University Grants Commission (UGC) today. It is learnt that the country’s apex technical education regulator AICTE is considering to conduct an aptitude test for students who received degrees between 2001 and 2005 via distance mode so that they are not affected by the SC ruling. If the students clear this GATE-like test their degrees will remain valid, as per Hindustan Time report.
A senior AICTE official has said, “We are examining the court order and may consider a GATE-like exam for which modalities will be worked out.” According to the rules of the AICTE, engineering degrees cannot be offered through distance education mode. In its Open and Distance Learning Regulations, 2017, the UGC has laid down the minimum standards of instruction for the grant of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, the HT report said.
On Friday the Supreme Court has barred all deemed universities across the country from continuing any distance learning courses from the 2018-19 without prior approval of the regulatory authorities. JRN Rajasthan Vidhyapeeth University, Udaipur; Vinayaka Mission Research Foundation, Salem, Tamil Nadu; IASE Deemed University, Rajasthan have been conducting distance education programmes without any approval. The apex court has also ordered a CBI probe into granting of retrospective approvals to the four universities. These universities have been directed by the court to return the tuition fee and other expenditure incurred by the students to attain the degree. The degrees of students from these institutions too were cancelled.