UoM move to start distance education faces stiff opposition

It will dissuade students from enrolling in KSOU: Teachers' body

UoM move to start distance education faces stiff opposition

A recent decision by the University of Mysore (UoM) to start distance education programmes from the next academic year has met with strong opposition from the teachers’ association and the Board of Management (BoM) of the neighbouring Karnataka State Open University (KSOU).

Members of the association and BoM have raised concerns that such a programme would be “disastrous” for KSOU and reduce the number of candidates opting for the varsity.

However, M G Krishnan, vice chancellor of KSOU, said the proposed distance education programme of UoM would not be a threat to KSOU.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, A Rangaswamy, secretary of the association, noted that both the varsities were close to each other and such ‘neighbourhood competition’ would affect the prospects of the varsity.

He said V G Talwar, the former vice chancellor of UoM, had plans of starting distance education programmes at the university, which was opposed by K S Rangappa, the former vice chancellor of KSOU, who is the present V-C of UoM.

Meeting

“In the BoM meeting, held on December 21, 2013, members of the board had suggested that the vice chancellor of KSOU file a writ petition against the UoM move and also submit a representation to the State government. The suggestions of the Board too have been ignored by the vice chancellor.

Even though a policy decision will determine whether UoM will be allowed to start distance education programmes, we will oppose such a programme by staging a symbolic protest on February 3,” said Rangaswamy.

Despite the suggestions made in the BoM meeting, Krishnan said he had neither filed a writ petition nor sent a representation to the State government, opposing the UoM move.

He said the legal officer of KSOU had suggested against filing a writ petition, as Kuvempu, Karnatak and Bangalore universities had distance education programmes.
Regarding the directive by the chancellor of universities on July 21, 2005, that universities established under the Karnataka State Universities Act desist from introducing open universities and distance education systems, Krishnan said that despite the order, all varsities had distance education programmes.

On the planned protest by KSOU teachers’ association, he said only “seven to eight” teachers would end up protesting. He said he would convince the KSOU BoM meeting that KSOU had no problem if UoM started a distance education programme.

BJP MLC Go Madhusudan and BoM member said that during the last meeting, a resolution was passed to find out ways to file a writ petition so that KSOU interests are not hampered. It is surprising that the vice chancellor has gone against BoM, he said.

 Maintaining that BoM has opposed the proposed UoM distance education programme, he said the legal course over the issue would be decided in the next BoM meeting of KSOU.

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