No UGC Approval To BU, Distance-Learning Students’ Future In Jeopardy

University Grants Commission (UGC) has come out with its list of recognition to Distance Learning Program Institutes for the year 2016-17. Bharathiar University (BU), headquartered at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu has missed it making to these five.

Students Future in Doldrums

With the UGC denying an approval to BU, the future of those enrolled in distance education through the varsity, now lies in jeopardy.  Sources in the University inform that there are 22,000 students of which it had admitted nearly 50 % in the last academic year and 1,636 for the 2017 calendar year programmes.

BU runs courses starting January and then June/July.

No heed to UGC warning 

Sources inform that BU did not pay heed to UGC’s warning:

First being, a notice to stop operating centres outside its jurisdiction. It was allowed to operate distance education centres only in the Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode districts. But BU was operating centres in other states as well.

Second reason was that BU was operating through franchisee in rented buildings. As per UGC regulation, a University has to run its centres either on own buildings or only from rented buildings that meet certain regulations.

Loss of revenue & prestige 

The sources add that this loss of prestige for BU also means loss in significant revenue. In 2016-17 alone, it had netted ₹55 crore by operating 390 centres.

University Vice-Chancellor A. Ganapathi says “ The institution had moved the court that had stayed the UGC decision in 2015. As the stay continued, the University went ahead offering programmes that enjoyed UGC recognition.” He added that the University would now operate only within the State as dictated by the state govt.

However sources say that the V-C is hiding the fact that the 2015 court stay had nothing to do with distance education programme. If it were so, UGC would have included BU in the list of approved institutions for distance education programmes.

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