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The distance education programmes offered by the Annamalai University and Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU) has been cancelled by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for the academic year 2015-16.
The move on the part of the UGC is going to affect thousands of students. Besides, the Hindi Prachar Sabha in Chennai and 28 other universities across India are facing action for violating norms in offering of open and distance learning (ODL) programmes.
Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani informed the Parliament of the action taken against these institutions while responding to a question from two MP.
But ironically the Vice Chancellors of the two TN universities were unaware on the move on the part of UGC. They said that UGC had not sent any communication to them.
Annamalai University had launched distance education courses in 1979.Officials of both the Universities maintain that they are ready to rectify if there are any lapses on their part as they are offering courses with permanent infrastructure and faculty, not as a franchise model.
Previously the university had obtained a stay order from the Madras HC restraining the UGC from stopping the institution from offering ODL courses outside the area of operation.
While an official of Tamil Nadu Open University said “We had already submitted affidavits sought by the UGC for getting recognition for 2015-16. We have also enrolled students anticipating the recognition.”