REFORMS IN EDUCATION State bans ‘distance’ PhDs.

REFORMS IN EDUCATION State bans 'distance' PhDs.

The state government has banned universities from offering PhDs in distance education mode with immediate effect and has directed them to offer such degrees only in the regular mode as stipulated by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The government’s move came in the wake of Dravidian University registering 8,029 PhDs in distance education mode in just two years between 2007 and 2009.

Taking serious note of the university’s violation of norms, the minister for higher and technical education, Mr Damodara Rajanarasimha, also constituted a two-member inquiry committee to probe the matter. A review meeting, attended by vice-chancellors of 10 conventional universities, also decided to recommend cancellation of PhD admissions undertaken by the Dravidian University against norms.

“We have issue a notice to the vice-chancellor on the issue and have sought an explanation,” said the minister. “Action will be initiated against the vice-chancellor based on this.”

While addressing the meeting, the minister referred to the issue of the Dravidian University and said the government will not allow the universities to convert PhDs as mere revenue earners. Several universities in the state have been offering PhDs in distance or off-campus mode for the last several years. However, while prominent universities such as Osmania University and Andhra University functioning for the last several decades registered less than 500 PhDs, Dravidian University, which is just 10 years old, overtook them by registering thousands of PhDs in a single academic year.

The government received specific complaints that the university study centres were taking `50,000 to `1,00,000 from students to award PhDs.

“We have decided to set up an ethics committee at the state-level to monitor these admissions,” said Mr Rajanarasimha.

Source : DC

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