Parul Sharma

IGNOU V-C against generalisation of recent Supreme Court judgment

NEW DELHI: Indira Gandhi National Open University Vice-Chancellor V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai on Saturday said it would be incorrect to say that the degrees offered by the open universities are in any way “inferior” to those obtained from regular institutions.

“This would be a sweeping statement which is totally damaging. In India, one-fourth of total students are enrolled in the open universities. There could be some erring institutions. If there is some quality problem, it must be corrected. There should be internal quality mechanism for that,” he said on the sidelines of the 20th Convocation of the University.

Prof. Pillai was reacting to some media reports over the recent Supreme Court judgment that post-graduate degrees awarded by open universities under the distance education programme to students who did not have the basic three-year degree could not be treated at par with PG degrees obtained after regular study from a recognised university.

“The context in which the apex court has given the judgment is different. The Court is right. A three-year under-graduate degree is must for post-graduation. But some media reports are making a sweeping statement. Today world-class universities are making use of open and distance learning methods. Educational activities are converging. So we can’t say Open University degrees are inferior. There could be some aberration, but that could happen in face-to-face institutions also. Erring institutes must be abandoned,” he maintained.