Coimbatore

BU loses UGC approval for distance education courses

In the list of institutions the University Grants Commission (UGC) has recognised for the 2016-17 academic year for offering distance education programmes (correspondence course), there are only five institutions.

Bharathiar University, headquartered in Coimbatore, is not one of them.

In the UGC list of approved institutions for the 2015-16 academic year too the Bharathiar University did not find a mention.

Future of students

The UGC denying approval has jeopardised the future of hundreds of students who study through distance education under the Directorate of Distance Education, Bharathiar University.

Sources in the University said that the Directorate had around 22,000 students of which it had admitted nearly 50 % in the last academic year and 1,636 for the 2017 calendar year programmes.

The Directorate runs courses starting calendar year (January) and academic year (June/July).

UGC regulation

Sources familiar with the reasons for the Bharathiar University losing recognition said that the institution did not heed to the UGC’s notice to stop operating centres outside its jurisdiction. It was operating centres not only across Tamil Nadu but outside the State as well.

But as per the UGC suggestion, the University ought to have operated distance education centres only in the Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode districts and not beyond as it did not have jurisdiction.

The second reason was that the University was not directly operating the centres but through franchisee, who operated out of rented buildings. As per the UGC regulation, the University ought to run its centres, on own buildings or from rented buildings with certain regulations.

Revenue

The sources added that the de-recognition of distance education programmes also meant that the University would lose significant revenue. In 2016-17 alone, it had netted ₹55 crore by operating 390 centres.

University Vice-Chancellor A. Ganapathi, however, said that the institution had moved the court that had stayed the UGC decision in 2015. As the stay continued, the University went ahead offering programmes that enjoyed UGC recognition.

He added that the University would now operate only within the State as at a meeting of vice-chancellors, the State Government had asked all universities to do so.

The sources said that the Vice-Chancellor was not generous with the truth. The 2015 court stay had nothing to do with the distance education programme.

If it were so, the UGC would have included the University in the list of approved institutions for distance education programmes. That it had not done so, only went on to show that the programmes were not recognised.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 12:13:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/bu-loses-ugc-approval-for-distance-education-courses/article19219983.ece

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