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HC lays down parameters for non-technical distance edu degree

June 16, 2019 05:44 AM

COURTESY HT JUNE 16

Surender Sharma letterschd@hindustantimes.com
HC lays down parameters for non-technical distance edu degrees

GOV HAS BEEN ASKED TO AUDIT WHETHER THE CENTRES OFFERING THESE DEGREES IN THE PAST, WHICH BECAME BASIS FOR EMPLOYMENT, WERE VALID OR NOT

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court has laid down parameters for non technical distance education degrees being offered by various universities. Besides, the government has been asked to audit whether the centres offering these degrees in the past, which became basis for employment, were valid or not.

Six months have been given to Punjab government to compile and put out a list of state universities, deemed universities and other institutes offering valid non technical courses’ degrees as per norms of the university grants commission (UGC) on its website to help students in future and ensure transparency in verification of the cases of past degrees.

The judgment came in a matter brought up before the high court in 2016 with the petition of a teacher, Karamjeet Kaur, seeking regularisation of services upon completion of three years of service as per her service conditions. She became Punjabi mistress in 2012. But in 2015, her case was not considered on the ground that she had completed her Med qualification through distance education mode from Vinayaka Mission University in the session 2009-2011.

The government had cited the 2013 UGC regulations that universities cannot be permitted to impart education through study centres/off-campus centres outside the territorial jurisdiction.

The high court bench of justice Jaswant Singh has now ordered that in the case of deemed universities and private institutions (other than universities), the cut-off date with regard to territorial jurisdiction and study centre will be March 2010 and all admissions made prior to this date will be valid. In the case of state varsities (both government funded or private), the cut-off date will be November 2012 and admissions before that will be valid.

The 83-page judgment, released on Saturday, will have bearing on the degrees awarded by all the 212 central, private or deemed varsities and other such institutes. After this matter, a lot of similarly placed candidates had approached high court since there was no judgment with respect to non technical courses offered by such study centres of all the varsities, said Ranjit Kalra, who was one of the counsel in the matter.

The court said that the candidates whose degree will stand invalidated due to judgment, all the benefits secured by such candidates/ employees would stand withdrawn. However, there will be no recovery of monetary benefits. They can recover damages from such varsities. The court, however, clarified that one-time concession be granted to those already in job and they be permitted to continue their jobs.

However, in the cases where the qualification if invalidated was essential qualification, they shall not be granted any further benefits such as promotion etc. In the case of those to be considered for regularisation upon a temporary appointment benefit of regularisation be extended if the invalidated qualification is not an essential qualification. In the case of those attainting graduation or post-graduation through distance education mode and higher

qualification through normal mode but lower degree got invalidated, then the higher qualification attained would also stand invalidated

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