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In last three years more than 400 programmes have been scrapped, leaving about five lakh students facing an uncertain future at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), which claims to be the largest institute of learning globally.
Students enrolled with IGNOU under various programmes – community college scheme, face-to-face scheme, BTech programmes, convergence scheme etc – have suffered as their courses have remained incomplete, exams have been postponed and results delayed for more than three years.
A professor of the university on the condition of anonymity says,“IGNOU’s academic programmes have come down significantly. However, there is an increase in the number of litigation and court cases against the university. CBI investigations against the previous vice chancellor, VN Rajasekharan Pillai, more than 30 court cases and six contempt notices against the university, a one-man enquiry committee against the present vice chancellor professor M Aslam and Aslam’s petition in Delhi High Court do not bode well for the institute.”
“When VN Rajasekharan Pillai became the vice chancellor of the university on October 20, 2006, he allowed unbridled expansion. The university had 130 programmes before he joined and during his tenure from October 20, 2006, to October 20, 2011, the number went up to approximately 500,” he added.
The university’s problems began after October 20, 2011, Aslam became acting vice chancellor of IGNOU and discontinued all the programmes started by Pillai without realising how this would affect the five lakh students enrolled with IGNOU.
“Since the community college scheme was started in July 2009, students admitted then were supposed to pass out in July 2011 and get their associate degree and certificates, but scrapping of the programme has destroyed their careers,” another professor.
More than 280 courses such as MA (labour and development), master’s in social anthropology, MSc in chemistry, executive MBA, bachelor of architecture, BSc in medical laboratory technology etc
Schemes such as community college, Army community college, 4-year BTech programmes, convergence scheme, full-time Phd programmes etc