HRD asks CBI to probe how banned deemed universities were offering courses in distance mode

The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe how four deemed universities were able to offer engineering courses in distance education mode and were awarded post facto approval by the University Grants Commission (UGC), sources said on Tuesday.

JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth and Advanced Studies in Education in Rajasthan, the Allahabad Agricultural Institute and Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu had been offering these courses without necessary approvals from the UGC and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

Last month, the top court had suspended the degrees awarded by the four universities between 2001 and 2005 and cancelled the degrees awarded issued after 2005. Degree holders from the 2001-05 batches will have to take a test by the AICTE to prove their proficiency and retain their degrees. This test is likely to be conducted in May/June.

“CBI has been asked to carry out a thorough investigation into the conduct of the concerned officials who dealt with the matter and went about the granting permissions against the policy statement. We are following the directions of the court,” said a senior HRD official.

On December 5, the HRD ministry had also set up a three member committee in line with a SC order to examine the working of deemed universities and suggest an “oversight” and “regulatory mechanism”.

The apex court had also restrained “all deemed-to-be universities to carry on any courses in distance education mode from the 2018-19 academic session unless …specific permissions are granted by the concerned statutory/regulatory authorities in respect of each of those courses and unless the off campus centres/study centres are individually inspected and found adequate by the concerned statutory authorities”.

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