Published: 11th May 2022
Annamalai University challenges UGC order declaring its distance education programmes invalid
According to norms, no higher educational institution can offer any open and distance learning programmes and admit learners unless they are granted recognition by the commission
On a petition filed by the Annamalai University, the Madras High Court has issued a notice to the University Grants Commission (UGC). The petition by the university challenged the recent public notice which was released by the UGC with regards to the recognition to open and distance education (ODL) programmes with respect to territorial jurisdiction.
In its petition, Annamalai University stated that the UGC's public notice dated March 25, directing students to not opt for any of the ODL programmes offered by the university as no recognition was given from 2014-15, was against facts and circumstances.
Based on a 2015 interim order which stated, "all admissions made by the University in respect of Distance Education Programme for centres outside the territorial jurisdiction, shall be subject to final decision of the pending appeal," the university applied for recognition every year and the respondents neither granted approval nor rejected.
The petition also stated that the impugned notice is tarnishing the image and the name of the university. It is giving rise to apprehension in the hearts of students who wish to pursue open and distance education courses.
"It has come to the notice of the UGC that Annamalai University is running the distance education programmes and admitting students in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) programmes without approval of the UGC, in gross violations of all conditions laid down under the UGC (Open and Distance learning) Regulations, 2017 and its amendments from time to time, and the UGC (Open and Distance Learning Programme and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020," UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain had warned.
"General public, students and other stakeholders are cautioned through this public notice not to take admission in any programme offered by Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu through ODL mode. Taking admissions in such programmes may jeopardise the career of students, in absence of required recognition," Jain said.