Karnataka HC issues notice to Centre, UGC on plea seeking guideline for award of honorary doctorate degrees


The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday ordered issue of notices to the State and Central governments, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and others on a PIL petition seeking direction to the UGC to frame guidelines for award of honorary doctorate degrees by the competent universities, and seeking a probe on ‘cash for award of honorary doctorate’ scam.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Pradeep Singh Yerur passed the order on a PIL petition filed by Suresh C.H., an academician hailing from Thorechikkanahalli village of Maddur taluk in Mandya district.

Pointing out that he was disturbed by the trend of conferring honorary doctorate degrees even by private skill development institutes and universities on individual persons, including those with criminal backgrounds, the petitioner contended that award of honorary doctorates by unrecognised and “fake” universities to undeserving candidates “for a consideration” is demeaning the doctorate degree apart from casting cloud on genuine awardees on the authenticity of their awards.

The petitioner quoted reports in various newspapers on award of doctorate to a person with criminal background and for payment of “consideration”.

Though the Chancellor of Universities in Karnataka had in 2016 issued guidelines for scrutinising names of individuals considered for conferring honorary doctorate, the petitioner said there is no specific guidelines to universities under the UGC Act.

The petitioner pointed out that two private institutes, National Virtual University for Peace and Education, Kammanahalli, and Indian Virtual Academy for Peace and Education, Hennur Road in Bengaluru city, claiming to be registered with NITI Aayog, have been awarding honorary doctorate degrees “without any competency” to award honorary doctorate as they are recognised only for training and developing of skills of persons who join these institutes.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 5:31:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-hc-issues-notice-to-centre-ugc-on-plea-seeking-guideline-for-award-of-honorary-doctorate-degrees/article30109844.ece

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