Earlier report - Farce, Thy Name is Indian Education System !
Up till now four deemed universities:
- JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth,
- Institute of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE), Rajasthan,
- Allahabad Agricultural Institute (AAI) and
- Vinayaka Mission's Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu
were operating as usual. Today, the Supreme Court ruled that they are illegitimate. They were introducing new courses in technical education without the approval of AICTE. The off-campus centres or study centres were not individually inspected and found adequate by the statutory authorities. From now on, no course-specific approvals should be granted for distance learning courses.
Earlier - as per High Courts of Orissa and Punjab and Haryana : "The degrees in engineering obtained by serving diploma holders through distance learning mode offered by certain deemed universities to be valid."
Today, as per Supreme Court : "Such degrees are invalid. Those four deemed universities, being termed as "incorrect" and "illegal."
Observations by SC comprising a bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and U U Lalit :
- the four universities were granted ex-post facto approval without any proper inspection of necessary infrastructure and faculties, showed "the extent of commercialisation of education" by some of the deemed universities.
- displays lack of effective oversight and regulatory mechanism for the Deemed to be Universities.
- The UGC had completely failed to remedy the situation.
- Serious question has therefore arisen as to the manning of the UGC itself for its effective working.
The SC directed the Centre:
- to constitute a three-member committee comprising eminent persons who have held high positions in the field of education, investigation, administration or law at the national level within one month.
- the Committee may examine the issues and suggest a roadmap for strengthening and setting up of oversight and regulatory mechanism in the relevant field of higher education and allied issues within six months.
- the panel may also suggest an oversight mechanism to regulate deemed universities and the Centre could examine its report and take appropriate action within a month and file an affidavit on the action taken by August 31, 2018.
- a CBI inquiry against the conduct of UGC officials who had granted ex-post facto approvals to the four deemed universities against the policy and into the conduct of these institutions which had abused their position to advance their commercial interests.
- the University Grants Commission (UGC) to restrain such institutions from using the word 'university' within one month from Friday, observing that commercialisation of education "seriously affects credibility of standards in education, eroding power and essence of knowledge and seriously affecting excellence and merit".
In view of this latest development, the law abiding citizens of the country now feel betrayed. The credibility of standards in education has become a casualty now. As noted by the top Court of India, it is rapidly eroding the power and essence of knowledge and seriously affecting excellence and merit.
Even the recruiters now have limited options to chose the right candidates for the right jobs. The poor candidate, too, finds himself in the midst of pressures from all quarters. Several means are being suggested to find a solution to this growing menace, namely, commercialisation of education.
Some of those options are -
a. Stop depending on so-called educational institutions,
b. Develop in-house apprenticeship programs for technical trades,
c. Bring under - 19 freshers and test them for aptitude only,
d. Train them for that particular job under seniors' guidance,
e. Academically inclined candidates can pursue various on-line courses,
f. Incentives be paid as per performance.
a. Spend money wisely,
b. Don't go in donation colleges; invest the same amount on your own venture,
c. Participate in skill and/or entrepreneurship development programs,
d. Academically inclined candidates can pursue various on-line courses.
For Educational Institutions-
b. Give up obsolete methods, courses and stay updated,
c. Develop a revenue model that makes the institution self-sufficient. Money can be earned in several other legitimate ways. Don't regard the students' fee as the only source of income. Do R&D, develop technology, sell technical know-how to the industry (I being one of the buyers), do turn-key projects; ie., do value-addition in the accepted sense of the term. You can easily do it, given the resources available at your disposal.
It only takes a modicum of common sense to suggest similar choices.
Make no mistake, this is one case which has come to light today. There may be another 10000s of helpless students languishing in 100s of such colleges. It is now the duty of every citizen to arrest this slide.