HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014
Delhi institute barred from offering course in fashion
Jeevan Prakash Sharma, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 16, 2014
First Published: 11:05 IST(16/7/2014)
Last Updated: 11:21 IST(16/7/2014)

A fashion institute in Delhi has been barred from offering distance learning degree courses from a state university in Karnataka it is affiliated to.

This follows an HT Education report (on June 11, 2014) on state universities violating University Grants Commission (UGC) rules by giving affiliations to institutes outside their states and allowing them to offer distance learning programmes.Kuvempu, a state university based in Karnataka, has written a letter to the JD Institute of Fashion Technology, with a copy marked to UGC, on June 20, 2014, (just a week after HT Education highlighted the violation), which states, “We have the right to inform you that you have to restrict your operations only in Karnataka. Any other centre/s outside Karnataka are to be closed with immediate effect.” A copy of the letter is with HT Education.

UGC had questioned Kuvempu about allowing an institute in Delhi to offer its courses following the HT Education report which had highlighted how private institutes in Delhi were offering distance learning programmes. A UGC notification of June 27, 2013, had barred universities from offering courses outside their state.

After UGC’s intervention, Kuvempu, wrote a letter to the Commision, saying it was not offering any course outside Karnataka to any private institute. Earlier, an official of the JD Institute of Fashion Technology, with centres all over the country, had, when questioned by HT Education, said it had the mandate to offer degree courses from Kuvempu University.

When contacted, M Venkateshawrulu, director, directorate of correspondence courses, Kuvempu University, said, “Any degree course offered by any institute, including the JD Institute of Fashion Technology, after June 27, 2013, is illegal as, according to the UGC notification of June 27, 2013, state universities (both private and government-funded) can offer programmes only within the state. We have issued a letter to JD Institute and asked them to not offer the courses outside Karnataka.” JD Institute, however, can offer its own certificate courses

A UGC source revealed that Kuvempu University had to issue the letter at the behest of UGC as the Commission was upset with the violation. “Some students and their parents met UGC director (administration) Vikram Sahay, who was then director of Distance Education in the Commission  and drew his attention to the malpractices in the distance learning programme with the newspaper report,” said the source.

He adds, “Sahay said that he was aware of the issue and had already asked the university to respond. When the students, however, insisted that he expedite the matter, Sahay immediately called the M Venkateshawrulu and asked him to close down all its affiliations with institutes outside Karnataka,” said the source.

However, the JD Institute of Fashion Technology refused to comment on the matter and issued a letter from Kuvempu which said that students were assured of the highest level of technical education at JD Institute of Fashion Technology.

Five ways to avoid the distance education trap

1 Be wary of an institute which offers degree courses from universities in other states through distance learning

2 According to the UGC’s notification, from the 2014-2015 academic session, no degree course from an institute, which is affiliated to a university outside its own state, is valid. 

3 Remember, BTech through correspondence was banned in 2009 so do not apply for such programmes

4 Courses like MSc in fashion communication, MBA in interior designing, BSc in operation theatre technology, MBA in fire safety, BSc in airlines and hospitality sound quite attractive but are not approved by the erstwhile regulator Distance Education Council (DEC) or the present regulator University Grants Commission. Check DEC or UGC website to check for list of approved programmes

5 In the Prof Yashpal and Rai University cases, the Supreme Court had restricted private and state universities from opening study/off campus centres for regular courses in other states. So, if you want to pursue any regular course, you should do so from study centres and universities in your state.

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