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The Gauhati University (GU) has risked the career of around 74,000 students by offering 21 unapproved courses for seven years.
According to a report released by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), the university has collected Rs 39 crore as enrollment fees from the students. This was discovered during the ongoing Assam Assembly’s Winter Session, where it also stated that the varsity had submitted many false affidavits to the University Grants Commission (UGC), saying that it will not commence any new distance programme without approval.
The CAG also added that the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), with the Distance Education Council’s (DEC) approval, had noted in August 2010 that the Gauhati University’s Institue of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) had been offering eight programmes for three years. The report said that IDOL was asked to not offer any new distance course besides these eight courses.
It pointed out that IDOL, GU had further introduced 21 unapproved programmes through distance mode during 2010-11 to 2016-17.
The recognition was offered based on recommendations of the joint committee comprising the UGC, DEC and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), it said.
The DEC and IGNOU in July 2013 informed the university that these courses were not approved and recognised by the DEC, which made these courses invalid for jobs under the Central government.
The report further confirmed that 73,912 candidates had registered for 19 courses from these 21 unapproved ones during 2010-11 and 2016-17. The university had collected Rs 39.06 crore from the students for the courses. However, there was no registration for PGD-Insurance Management and MSc-Mathematics.
The Auditor-General said that the GU had submitted false affidavits in order to extend the recognition of IDOL. This was questioned, to which GU replied in October 2017 and December 2018 they were hoping for approval from the UGC and AICTE. As they did not, the courses were discontinued from 2017.
In February 2018, the UGC said that no university can provide these distance courses without receiving confirmation from the commission.