Supreme Court on Friday restrained all deemed universities across the country from continuing any distance engineering courses from the 2018-19. The Apex Court also suspended degrees granted by four ‘deemed to be universities’ between 2001 and 2005. SC ordered that the universities cannot continue issuing degrees through distance learning without prior approval of the regulatory authorities and ordered a CBI probe into granting of retrospective approvals to all the four universities.
The top court also directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to restrain such institutions from using the word ‘University’ within one month from today, observing that commercialisation of education “seriously affects credibility of standards in education, eroding power and essence of knowledge and seriously affecting excellence and merit”. A bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and U U Lalit directed a CBI inquiry against the conduct of UGC officials who had granted ex-post facto approvals to the four deemed universities against the policy and into the conduct of these institutions which had abused their position to advance their commercial interests.
The Apex court also said that unless off-campus centres or study centres were individually inspected and found adequate by the statutory authorities, no course-specific approvals should be granted for distance learning courses. SC suspended the degress of students who had pursued engineering in academic session 2001-05 from these four deemed universities JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Institute of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE), Rajasthan, Allahabad Agricultural Institute (AAI) and Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu. The top court directed AICTE to conduct examination for the students by January 15, whose degrees stand suspended.
(With Agency Inputs)