1.5 lakh students left in lurch

1.5 lakh students left in lurch

Haryana govt asks university to close its study centres

Nearly 1,50,000 students face an uncertain future after the Haryana government directed the Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) in Rohtak to shut down its more than 11,000 study centres inside and outside the state.

The Haryana government last month passed a bill in the assembly amending the MDU Act of 1975, effectively closing down study centres run under the varsity’s Directorate of Distance Education (DDE).

The university has its only campus in Rohtak but its distance education study centres are spread all over Haryana and also other states.

“Since the state has developed a sound institutional network with as many as 30 universities, approximately 693 colleges, inclusive of government, government-aided and self-financing colleges, two post-graduate regional centres, it does not seem necessary for the state universities to open study centres in the jurisdiction of state also,” the government stated.

The death knell had been sounded earlier with the University Grants Commission (UGC) following Supreme Court directions and asking all states to ensure that their universities stop all off-campus study centres outside the academic jurisdiction of these institutions.

Of these, 1,168 centres were set up directly by the university, while nearly 10,000 were opened through its 10 global study centres across the nation.

“Since distance education is the major source of income for the university, the closure of distance education courses means a huge loss,” said Narender Garg, professor and DDE director. “DDE had earned a revenue of Rs120 crore in last financial year,” said Garg.

“The government should allow enrolled students to complete their courses as a large number of students have either reached the last stage of their courses or finished more than half,” he added.

The government’s order has come as a shock to many students as they are in the middle of their programmes.

“The government is playing with the future of students,” said Sunil Hooda, a student of BCA.