CHENNAI: The University of Madras is waiting with anxiety as the fate of around 50 courses offered in distance mode hangs in balance with University Grants Commission's (UGC) scheduled to release its revised recognition list for Open and Distance Learning programmes on Wednesday.
In the first list, the UGC has recognised only three distance education courses out of fifty-three programmes in Madras University and one course out of three at Anna University. Following the decision, the University of Madras has transferred around 10 faculty members to the Institute of Distance Education in an effort to fulfil the UGC regulations.
The University officials are confident of getting approval for at least 30 courses which contribute to more than 90% of enrollment of students in IDE programmes. On an average 28,000 to 30,000 students admitted to 53 courses (23 UG courses, 22 PG courses and 8 professional courses) every year.
“If Madras University fails to get the recognition for its distance education programmes from UGC, then it would financially cripple the varsity as IDE is one of its main revenue sources,” professors said.
A section of professors also felt the present crisis could have been averted.
“For several years in a row, the university has failed to keep up with UGC's standard and the administration was indifferent towards Institute of Distance Education. This could be a wakeup call to the university in realising the importance of IDE,” they added.
However, the professors also pointed out that present Vice-Chancellor P.Duraisamy is taking efforts to revamp the Institute of Distance Education which is facing a crisis due to the shortage of staff and poor administration.
They also stated that the University needs to have a detailed plan to turn the IDE into a profit-making centre.
The UGC did not give its approval to the MBA and MCA courses to all the 51 institutions who have applied for recognition including Madras University and Anna University. In both the universities, over 70% of students are getting admitted in these two courses.The UGC stated that all the institutions should get approval to offer MBA and MCA programmes.
Officials in the Anna University said that AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) has given a letter to UGC stating that the state universities and central universities which were established by legislatures and parliament are exempted from getting approval for MBA and MCA courses. The officials said the UGC is likely to give its recognition to all the state universities and central universities provided if they follow the AICTE norms in offering MBA and MCA courses.