Mysore varsity again under UGC scanner over outreach programmes

Mysore varsity again under UGC scanner over outreach programmes

 The University of Mysore (UoM) has yet again been cautioned of action by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for its continued grant of affiliation to private institutes in the name of outreach centers, and for franchising higher education.

The UGC in its letter dated October 27, has asked UoM to immediately withdraw the affiliation and submit an action taken report on or before November 10. The UGC has warned of initiating action, if UoM fails to submit the compliance report in time.

The letter is the latest in the series of letters written by the UGC, pulling up UoM in the last few months. The UoM, which has been under the scanner for unauthorisedly conducting outreach programme outside of its territorial jurisdiction, has also received notices by the Supreme Court.

The UGC in its letters dated June 8, 2016; April 24, 2017 and August 16, 2017 had directed the varsity to withdraw affiliation granted to private institutes in the name of outreach centers.

"It is however learnt that UoM is awarding degrees to students studying in Sampoorna International Institute of Agri Science and Horticultural Technology, Ramanagaram and other similar institutes all over the country."

"The arrangements made by UoM with these institutes is similar to granting affiliation and franchising of higher education, as students are studying in regular mode. Franchising of higher education is not at all permitted. You are requested to submit an action taken report by November 10. If compliance is not submitted in time, necessary action will be initiated," the letter adds.

The varsity's Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dayanand Mane, however, maintained that these courses were essential for the very functioning of UoM. "We cannot stop these courses at this juncture because it will affect the careers of the students. Also, we are receiving Rs 15 crore from these outreach programmes. As the state government is reducing grants every year, we will be unable to pay the salaries of the non-teaching staff if we stop these programmes. The varsity should not be punished for the faults of the previous regime. The agreements were made five years ago," he said.

Mane said that the varsity would again request the UGC and the state government to continue the programmes for at least this academic year. "We are willing to discontinue the courses from the next academic year, if need be," he added.

With regard to Sampoorna International Institute, Mane said that the institute had shifted from Ramanagaram to Mandya two months ago, and that it was now well within the UoM's territorial jurisdiction. "We will highlight this in the action taken report," he said.

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