The Distance Education Council (DEC) of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will henceforward operate under the University Grants Commission (UGC) according to new guidelines for the promotion and coordination of its programmes.
According to the new guidelines recommended by the Prof NR Madhav Menon committee, no stand-alone institutions would offer distance courses, which will be provided only through state, central or deemed universities.
According to an order of the ministry of human research development dated December 29, 2012 to the UGC and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the role of the DEC in IGNOU and its all its responsibilities will now be performed by the UGC and the AICTE as envisaged in their respective acts.
Accordingly, the UGC and the AICTE have taken up with immediate effect all regulatory responsibilities of the open and distance learning (ODL) system and even the name has been changed from DEC to DEB (Distance Education Bureau).
Dr D Harichandan, professor and director, Institute of Distance Open Learning (IDOL), who was one of the members of the UGC expert committee. said, "There were a lot of pending applications regarding distance education, from giving recognition to allowing distance courses to different universities. To deal with this, an expert committee was constituted under Prof Mohd Miyan, vice-chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, in June-July 2013. We solved all 205 pending cases and gave our recommendations to the UGC. The decisions were conveyed by the DEB to 83 institutions and universities."
"Later, a three-member committee headed by Prof NR Madhav Menon was formed to suggest measures to regulate the education being imparted through the distance mode."
According to the recommendations, no stand-alone institution will be allowed to offer distance education courses and these will only be provided by state, central and deemed universities.
"There were many reputed institutions in the city and the state that were providing distance courses and making a lot of money by charging students Rs11,000-Rs15,000 for a course. Also, the universities will not be allowed to start centers outside their territory or jurisdiction to conduct these courses. The recommendations of the Madhav Menon committee will be implemented from the academic year 2014-2015," said Harichandan.
The Prof NR Madhav Menon committee studied the advertisements published in national dailies by private institutions offering university degrees through various franchise programmes and issued a notice for students and parents on 27 June 2013.
Henceforward, only a central or state government university will be allowed to conduct courses through its departments, constituent colleges and/or its affiliated colleges.
A university established or incorporated by or under a state act shall operate only within the territorial jurisdiction allotted to it under its act and in no case beyond the territory of the state of its location.
Private or deemed universities cannot affiliate any college or institution for conducting courses leading to award of diplomas, degrees or other qualifications.
No university, whether central, state, private or deemed can offer programmes through franchising arrangements with private coaching institutions even for the purpose of conducting courses through distance mode.
Names of fake universities listed by the UGC
Raja Arabic University, Nagpur
Maithili University/Vishwavidyalaya, Darbhanga
Commercial University Ltd; United Nations University; Vocational University; ADR-Centric Juridical University; Indian Institute of Science and Engineering
Badaganvi Sarkar World Open University Education Society, Gokak, Belgaum
St John's University, Kishanattam
Keserwani Vidyapith, Jabalpur
DDB Sanskrit University, Putur, Trichi
Indian Institute of Alternative Medicine, Kolkata.
Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi / Jagatpuri; Mahila Gram Vidyapith Allahabad; Gandhi Hindi Vidyapith, Prayag; National University of Electro Complex Homeopathy, Kanpur; Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose University (Open University), Achaltal, Aligarh; Uttar Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya, Kosi Kalan, Mathura; Maharana Pratap Shiksha Niketan Vishwavidyalaya, Pratapgarh; Indraprastha Shiksha Parishad, Institutional Area, Khoda, Makanpur, Noida; Gurukul Vishwavidyalaya,Vrindavan; Bhartiya Shiksha Parishad, Lucknow, (matter is sub judice).