Gauhati University offered 21 unapproved courses: CAG

A view of new Academic building Gauhati University. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The Gauhati University risked the career prospects of 73, 912 students by offering 21 unapproved courses through its Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) centres during 2010-2017 without the approval of the University Grants Commission (UGC), a Comptroller and Auditor General of India report has revealed.

The oldest university of the Northeast also collected Rs 39.06 crore from students as course fees against such unapproved courses, the report further said adding that the degrees offered to the students are not valid for jobs in central government services. 

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), with the approval of the Distance Education Council (DEC) accorded recognition to the IDOL in August 2010 for offering eight courses through distance education mode for a period of three academic years- 2010-11 to 2012-13. The recognition was offered based on the recommendations of the Joint Committee comprising the University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and DEC. It was specifically instructed that IDOL, GU shall not offer any other courses through distance mode other than those eight courses. Subsequently, the approval for continuation of the eight courses through open and distance learning mode was extended for 2013-14 to 2017-2018 by UGC, it said.

"Audit observed that IDOL, GU offered 21 unapproved courses beyond the approved eight coursed through ODL during the year 2010-11 to 2016-17. DEC, IGNOU, had clearly stated (July 2013) that courses offered by GU through distance mode other than eight courses were not recognised by DEC and such degrees were not valid for jobs in central government services," said the CAG report, which was tabled in Assam Assembly on Friday. 

Audit noticed that Gauhati University had submitted affidavits to UGC from time-to-time assuring not to start any distance education programme without prior approval of UGC and in anticipation of recognition. "As such, GU submitted false affidavits for getting an extension of the recognition of IDOL," it said 

"Thus the GU was offering unapproved courses risking the career prospects of the students as degrees under such courses were not valid for jobs in central government services. The matter was reported to the government (Assam) in August 2018 but their reply was still awaited (July 2019)," the CAG report said.

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