UGC seeks Karnataka State Open University clarification about PhD programmes

MYSURU: There is no respite for the Karnataka State Open University (KS OU) which is trying to regain the recognition of the University Grants Commission ( UGC) for its courses. The UGC recently wrote to the letter to the varsity seeking clarification regarding its website notifying course work examination schedule in November and December even though the commission has denied permission for doctoral programmes.

UGC education officer Megha Kaushik on October 9 and 12 wrote to the KSOU registrar stating that UGC through its regulations of 2009 has denied KSOU permission to take up PhD programmes through the distance mode. The DEC also issued a show cause notice. It sought clarification that despite lack of permission, the KSOU website still notifies course work examination in November and December.

Megha Kaushik also sought a clarification regarding ambiguity about their collaborative institutions and malpractice charges by MLA G Madhusudana, member of the varsity’s board of management.

UGC received a letter on October 5 from Madhusudana complaining of malpractice and wrong-doing by the university. Kaushik requested the varsity to furnish the clarification to the Distance Education Bureau for further action regarding the complaint and on renewal of recognition of KSOU programmes in distance learning mode.

Earlier, Madhusudana had expressed unhappiness over the conduct of KSOU authorities in offering the programmes. In his letter to UGC joint secretary Renu Bathra, he mentioned that KSOU is conferring degrees, master’s degrees and diplomas in technical and paramedical fields even though the university or its 203 collaborative institutes and 4500 study centres have the necessary infrastructure. Despite UGC notices and derecognision of courses, KSOU has sold certificates through these centres through corrupt practices, he alleged.

He also alleged that KSOU in spite of swearing an affidavit before the UGC about discontinuing its relationship with firms and study centres has conducted annual examinations, evaluation, provided marks cards along with admission for second, third and fourth year students and had continued with the MPhil and PhD courses.