KSOU's illegal courses may hit 1 lakh students

KSOU's illegal courses may hit 1 lakh students

KSOU's illegal courses may hit 1 lakh students

The fate of over one lakh students, admitted to various professional / technical courses in 95 institutes functioning in collaboration with Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) across the country, now hangs in balance.

A raid of two such institutes in the City by Medical Education Minister S A Ramdas on Tuesday revealed that there was no such facility as mentioned in the records, triggering suspicions of foul play.

He has threatened the university of derecognition if it fails to adhere to rules.
When questioned about the alleged irregularities, University Vice-Chancellor K S Rangappa said he acted in accordance with the University act. Rangappa said he is ready for an open debate in the presence of media on the issue.

According to the minister, the KSOU had signed memorandums of understanding with 95 institutes,  offering 422 subjects, including certain paramedical courses. This, despite the Distance Education Council (DEC), New Delhi, asking the KSOU to stop making admissions for these courses following several complaints on the subject recognition itself. Ramdas said the KSOU had signed MOUs with collaborative / partner institutions well before the approval (on December 27, 2011) of the statutes necessary for governing academic collaboration.

He said the courses being offered by 95 institutes under the KSOU did not have recognition of statutory bodies of respective state governments. For instance, while introducing paramedical courses (which come under the purview of Medical Education ministry) in Karnataka, the KSOU had not taken recognition from the Paramedical board, Karnataka Nursing Board and Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. Ramdas said in the absence of such recognition, courses offered by collaborative agents of KSOU failed to have legal sanctity.

The minister said he would write to the chief minister to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into all institutes which had signed MoUs with the KSOU and take necessary action against the culprits. Action had to be taken fast as the MoUs were signed during 2010 and the institutes had already started functioning in the last four months.

Ramdas said a copy of the letter would also be sent to Governor H R Bhardwaj, who is the Chancellor of all universities in State, the Medical Council of India, and DEC.

Asked why he couldn’t initiate action against KSOU, Ramdas said only 34 of 422 subjects would come under his ministry’s purview, while many other courses come under the VTU and RGUHS. For the same reason, he was writing to the chief minister for a comprehensive investigation.

Ramdas said the KSOU had acted out of bounds and ignored the show cause notices by DEC dated June 10, 2011, asking it to stop admissions and file a detailed report on the recognition of courses.  He asked the KSOU not to mislead students regarding courses and threatened the university of derecognition if it failed in its delivery of duties.