Tamil Nadu

UGC declares Annamalai varsity’s distance education programmes invalid

The University Grants Commission has issued a public notice cautioning that Annamalai University is offering distance education programmes without its approval.

The notice dated March 25 has said the university has been admitting students under the open distance learning (ODL) programmes in “gross violation of all conditions laid down under the UGC Rules (Open and Distance Learning Regulations, 2017) and its amendments from time to time”, the latest being the regulations issued in 2020.

The UGC notice said the University had been recognised to offer ODL programmes only till the academic year of 2014-15 after which no recognition was accorded. It further stated “the University is solely responsible for the career consequences of the students, if any, arising out of the same.”

Rajnish Jain, Secretary of UGC, has cautioned the students and stakeholders “not to take admission in any programme offered” by the University through the ODL mode. “Taking admissions in such programmes may jeopardise the career of the students, in view of the absence of recognition of the programmes by the UGC,” Mr. Jain has said.

According to the University website as many as 200 programmes are offered under the distance education mode.

Annamalai University Vice Chancellor R. M. Kathiresan said: “We have filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court [in this regard]. We have recently been accredited by NAAC and the results are expected to be out by this week. Once the results are out we are confident of getting the highest grade and there won’t be hindrance for us to offer distance education programmes.”

According to him, around 40,000 students from within the State have joined the ODL progarmmes. “We are operating only on the verdict of the High Court. I joined only three months ago but the University officials have given me to understand that we are permitted as per the writ petition. Unless the UGC gets that stay vacated, we are valid,” he contended.

The UGC has denied permission to institutions with less than 3.26 points NAAC score on a scale of 5 to run ODL programmes. NAAC has given Annamalai University A grade, which is 3.01 to 3.25 points. The UGC permits universities with 3.26 points to conduct online programmes. The VC said he had not received the notice yet from the UGC..

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Printable version | Apr 24, 2022 8:27:49 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ugc-declares-annamalai-varsitys-distance-education-programmes-invalid/article65268115.ece