The State government has decided that those who possess postgraduate degree from an open university without obtaining a basic degree cannot be regarded as holding a PG degree for appointment to public services.

This follows acceptance of the recommendation made by the Equivalence Committee. The order was issued on Wednesday by the State Personnel and Administrative Reforms (P&AR) Department. Quoting portions of the Madras High Court's judgment in February 2008, the order stated that the court had observed: “It can never be countenanced that the government consciously intended to recognise a degree of MA through open university system without the benefit of the foundation degree or the basic degree as equivalent to a recognised degree even though the University Grants Commission Regulations never contemplated such a course. “Therefore, recognition of a degree from the open university system could be only on the anvil that such degree must be in accordance with the regulations of the UGC and not in direct conflict with such regulations. The expression in the rules that for the purpose of eligibility of a person to be appointed as a principal, he must be in possession of a degree of recognised university, cannot be stretched to include ‘Master's degree' obtained from Annamalai University by appearing for a one-time examination without the benefit of a previous ‘first degree'.” A year later, the Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the High Court.

In view of the rulings, the P&AR department, in August 2009, addressed a communication to the Tamil Nadu Public Services Commission Secretary to place the matter before the Equivalence Committee for its recommendations as to whether a PG degree obtained through the open university system without a bachelor's degree could be considered for appointment to public services. The Committee met in November and made its recommendation.

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