SC cancels Engineering degrees obtained via Correspondence since 2001

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Supreme court cancels the degree, which the three universities have been conducting distance education programmes without taking prior approval from any of the authorities, including the UGC or the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

And the three Universities are: —

  • JRN Rajasthan Vidhyapeeth University, Udaipur
  • Vinayaka Mission Research Foundation, Salem, Tamil Nadu
  • IASE Deemed University, Rajasthan

As per the recent report a fourth, Vinayaka Mission Research Foundation in Tamil Nadu, is also included in the list.

The Supreme Court on Friday cancelled all engineering degrees awarded by these universities since 2001 and ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the roles of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and other authorities for giving approval to these courses, mentioning down on three deemed-to-be universities granting engineering degrees through distance education mode.

But at the time of judgement, when the students with the degree questioned the validity of degrees in the engineering was provided by the universities were under the scrutiny.

By keeping an eye on the matter court also directed the UGC to look into university status, which is enjoyed by them and also to conduct an inquiry in that behalf.

Showing concern about the state of affairs in such universities, the bench also undemonstrative view “all deemed-to-be universities to carry on any courses in distance education mode from the academic session 2018-2019 onwards unless and until it is permissible to conduct such courses in distance education mode and specific permissions are granted by the concerned statutory/regulatory authorities in respect of each of those courses and unless the off-campus centres/study centres are individually inspected and found adequate by the concerned statutory authorities”.

The bench said the students’ degrees will remain suspended until they clear an examination under the joint supervision of the All India Council for Technical Education and the University Grants Commission. The students will have two attempts to clear the exams before January 15, failing which their degrees will stand cancelled.

Justice AK Goel and Justice UU Lalit, with the bench, said if the students did not wish to appear for the test, the universities will have to refund the money that the students had deposited towards tuition fees and other charges.

The Supreme Court further announced that the technical education can not be provided through distance learning or correspondence courses, The bench set aside an Odisha High Court order allowing technical education through correspondence, and instead supported a Punjab and Haryana High Court ruling.

Similarly, in 2015, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had said that a degree in computer science obtained through a correspondence course could not be considered to be equal to the one attained by attending regular classes.

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