The High Court of Madras has ordered for a temporary stay on the new amendment made by UGC (University Grants Commission) to Open University & Distance Learning Regulations Act. Manonmaniam Sundaranar University (MSU) sought the interim stay by filing PIL (Public Interest Litigation) at Madras HC.
What is the New Amendment made by UGC to Distance Learning Regulation Act?
In March 2018, UGC had issued an official notice stating that NAAC accreditation is mandatory for higher educational institutes to offer open and distance learning courses. The UGC had made an amendment to its existing Open University & Distance Learning Regulation Act. The UGC has made NAAC accreditation mandatory from the academic session 2018-19. However, the minimum CGPA score prescribed by UGC in NAAC assessment turned out to be a bane to many universities.
The UGC indicated that the universities should have at least a CGPA of 3.26 to offer open and distance learning courses.
The new UGC regulation barred seven state universities in Tamil Nadu from offering distance-learning courses. Only three state universities, i.e., Alagappa University, Madras University and Anna University were eligible to offer distance courses as per UGC courses.
Enraged with the new UGC amendment, several state universities sought government’s direction to UGC to relax norms for distance learning courses. Vice Chancellor of a university criticised UGC that the new decision was harsh, and it was taken without holding a proper consultation.
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Manonmaniam Sundaranar University had sought for an interim stay on new UGC amendment & informed the court that the UGC should not prescribe same parameters for regular courses and distance courses. The UGC must come up with logical parameters relating to NAAC accreditation for distance learning courses.