KSOU's Kerala students take out rally, demand valid degrees

 In 2013, Ahilamurali enrolled in a diploma in mechanical engineering at a centre of the Karnataka State Open University in his hometown of Ernakulam, Kerala, without knowing the certificate he would get on completing the course will be invalid.

“The UGC had asked the KSOU not to enrol anybody in the course since 2012 but neither I knew about this nor did the university care to tell us anything related to this. I paid about Rs two lakh for the three-year course. Not just this money, even three precious years of life will go waste if the UGC doesn’t relent,” Ahilamurali said.

Around 150-200 students from Kerala arrived in Bengaluru on Thursday and took out a rally to the Freedom Park. They then moved to the Raj Bhavan to submit a memorandum to the Governor. Technical Students’ Organisation, which organised the protest, said almost 25,000 students had registered at the KSOU’s 85 study centres across Kerala.

“We got in touch with 3,000 students who are facing this problem. All over India, there are no less than two lakh such students” Ahilamurali said. “I wasn’t able to complete graduate studies, so I enrolled into this programme. Now I regret it.”

Francis Kalathungal of All India Save Education Committee, who was part of the protest, said they had met HRD Minister Smriti Irani and Karnataka’s Higher Education Minister. “Irani asked us to meet the UGC chairman. We suggested to him the degrees of students who enrolled till 2012 be made valid. Students are in trouble for no fault of theirs.”

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