No Technical Education Through Distance Mode: Supreme Court

By: Ashok Kumar Shukla ( Sr. Associate Editor-ICN Group )

Supreme Court cancels degrees of students who graduated through distance learning from 3 varsities after 2005.

In a landmark verdict affecting millions of students across India, a Bench of Justice AK Goel and Justice UU Lalit restrained educational institutions from providing courses in subjects such as engineering and computer science through the distance education mode.

The Supreme Court on Friday cancelled the engineering degrees of students who earned them through distance learning from three deemed universities after 2005. The court said the amount paid by these students towards tuition will have to be refunded by the universities by May 31, 2018.

The Supreme Court restrained all deemed universities from continuing any distance learning courses from the 2018-19 academic session without prior approval of the regulatory authorities.

The Court after hearing all the concerned parties came to the conclusion that the permission to conduct distances education courses were granted without any authority.It directed the UGC to take appropriate steps and implement Section 23 of the UGC Act and restrain deemed universities from using the word “university” within a month.

The colleges in question started their distance education courses without taking any approval from UGC and/or AICTE and when there was no approved engineering college or faculty at their main campus. The Court, therefore pulled up the officials who were responsible for allowing such course and ordered a CBI probe.

The court cancelled the degrees obtained through distance education and ordered recall of any benefits in terms of promotion or other career advancement, except any monetary benefits that can’t be recovered by employers.Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana and Odisha high courts had expressed divergent views on the contentious issue.

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