Hopes crash for IGNOU's aerospace engg students

Delhi HC ruling renders future of two City colleges uncertain

 The fate of a number of students studying in two technical institutes in the City, which have been offering a ‘face-to-face programme’ in aerospace engineering under the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), hangs in balance.

 This follows a Delhi High Court ruling, declaring IGNOU as not having any ‘legal authority’ to conduct such full-time programmes. 

The court had ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the matter in December, 2013. The CBI findings, which have already been submitted, will be made public during a hearing of the court on May 1.

The two institutes – Agragami VSM Institute of Aerospace Engineering and Technology in Yelahanka and Hindustan Aviation Academy (HAA) in Marathahalli - were offering the BTech programme under IGNOU since 2010. 

A total of 11 institutions in the country had entered into an MoU with IGNOU in this regard. 

Lack of approval

However, in 2012, the university asked all colleges offering the programme to keep it in abeyance, after realising that it had not fulfilled certain legal requirements, like getting an approval from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). A few colleges including Agragami Institute and HAA took the matter to the Delhi High Court thereafter. 

While Agragami Institute has 60 students enrolled in the programme, HAA has around 200. 

Their future is now in limbo. There are around 3,000 students enrolled in the course across the country. 

“We are not holding any classes as there is uncertainty. A few students have been going to the college, but there are no lecturers or teachers,” said Jubin Joseph, a final-year student at Agragami.

Jibin D Raju, another final-year student at HAA, said that while classes were going on as usual in his institute, there was a sense of uncertainity among students. 

Notification

“A notification about exam dates had been put up on the IGNOU website, but it was soon withdrawn. We have also sent a number of queries in this regard, but have not received replies. Classes are still being conducted in the hope that some positive judgment will come out,” said Jibin.

The university has kept neither the students nor the institutions in the loop with regard to developments in the case and is abdicating its responsibility. 

“Many students have not received results of their December exams. Tuition fees, however, are still being collected. Many have not received their marks sheets and this is causing problems for their future. We have spent nearly Rs 10 crore on setting up facilities at the institute and all our efforts will go waste,” said Sajid Rahim, Director, Academic, HAA.  

No recruitment

Those who have passed the programme are being overlooked by companies for recruitments, according to Prince Matthew, who passed out from Agragami Institute.   When contacted by Deccan Herald, Prof Subhasis Maji, Programme Coordinator, School of Engineering and Technology, IGNOU, said that the university “did not have any power in the matter” and that 400 similar programmes had been started without the university facing any problems. 

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