Kerala High Court Requested to Consider Whether Sree Narayanaguru Open University Has Received UGC Recognition
The Kerala High Court has requested the state government to consider whether Sree Narayanaguru Open University has been recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for conducting distance learning programs and if so , for which courses. The High Court’s instructions to the Higher Education Secretary came in the wake of some student petitions challenging a June 9 state government order that barred virtually all other universities in the state, except with the exception of the open university, to provide distance education programs.
The students wanted to be allowed to enroll in the distance learning programs to be conducted in other universities in Kerala. They had argued that the open university lacked the required approvals from the UGC and that due to the June 9 government order, other universities were prohibited from offering such courses. The UGC, for its part, had told the court that even this year it had not granted any approval to the open university to start distance learning programs and that other approved universities can continue with the same. if they have been sanctioned for doing so.
The Open University, on the other hand, had objected to UGC’s claim and said it had already obtained Commission approval for some courses in the distance learning program. The state government had said that its order only stipulated that other universities in Kerala, approved for this purpose by the UGC, could conduct the distance learning program until the open university obtains the recognition by the Commission.
After hearing all parties, Justice Devan Ramachandran said, “I therefore strongly believe that a decision in this regard will have to be made by the Secretary of the Department of Higher Education, after hearing the petitioners and representatives of the Open “This will have to be done quickly, because any further delay would certainly be detrimental to the interests of the students.”
Therefore, the court allowed the students to plead with the instructions that the Secretary of the Department of Higher Education will hear from them and the representatives of the open university on August 23 and if the university is unable to To show that it has received UGC recognition, the government will issue orders authorizing other approved universities in the state to deliver the distance education programs.
If the open university has obtained recognition for certain courses, the government may issue appropriate orders limiting the conduct of the distance learning program by other universities to other subjects, as directed by the court. He also ordered that students be free to apply and be admitted by the various accredited universities in their distance learning programs.
“The Secretary of the Directorate of Higher Education will ensure that the orders to be issued by him are communicated to the parties within 24 hours, including by electronic means, in order to allow them to invoke the remedies or freedoms which are open to them,” added the High Court.
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