Will not allow Discrimination Against Open University Students: Karnataka Higher Education Minister

Karnataka Higher Education Minister Dr. Ashwath Narayan Focuses On The Internationalism Of Education

Karnataka Minister for Higher Education CN Ashwatha Narayana said on Monday that the state government will ensure that there is no disparity in terms of employment opportunities for those who have pursued their studies from open universities. The minister was delivering his inaugural address in a seminar during the All India Open Universities Vice-Chancellors’ Meet organized by the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU).

Will not permit discrimination against open university students

The minister for higher education further stated that the Karnataka government will not allow any discrimination against students who have studied at open universities.

The minister’s remarks came after the KSOU Vice-Chancellor Vidyashankar apprised him of recent recruitment by Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) which featured a clause that stated candidates who had studied in open universities will be ineligible.

CN Ashwatha Narayana further stated, “There should be equal scope for degrees of UGC-recognized open universities similar to other universities. Any confusion regarding this will be resolved by discussing with the Chief Minister.”

UGC needs to make relaxation for open universities

Remarking further, he stated that UGC should make some relaxations to permit open universities to offer online education.

Furthermore, in order to reach a larger audience, open universities should launch new undergraduate and postgraduate courses. He went on to emphasize that educational institutions should work in a way that they gain credibility in the public domain.

The promotion of online education is essential to attain the aim of a 50 percent Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education.

He stated further that updating the syllabus on a regular basis is difficult to work for open institutions, and it costs a lot of money to build up the necessary infrastructure.

UGC should disburse development grants yearly

In view of this, the UGC should disburse the open varsities development grant on an annual basis, he added.

He went on to add that open universities have not been able to meet NAAC criteria because, owing to the pandemic, their activities have been affected for two to three years, stating that UGS should look into the matter.

UGC Joint Secretary Avichal Kapoor, who was also present at the occasion, stated that online learning is now permissible for 40% of the syllabus content, as opposed to 20% previously.

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