New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday recalled all engineering degrees awarded to students who were admitted after the academic session 2001-05 in these four deemed universities in distance education mode.
It also withdrew the benefits accrued on the basis of such degrees but directed that the entire amount paid by such students to the concerned deemed universities towards tuition fees and other expenditure shall be returned by May 31, 2018.
The apex court directed that degree of students who have pursued engineering in academic session 2001-05 from four deemed universities — JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Institute of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE), Rajasthan, Allahabad Agricultural Institute (AAI) and Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu, will remain suspended.
The top court directed the AICTE to hold tests for the students whose degrees would stand suspended by January 15, 2018 and said these students should not be given more than two chances to clear the examination.
If the students do not successfully clear the examination within the stipulated time, their degrees will stand cancelled and every single advantage on the basis of that degree shall also stand withdrawn, it said.
READ ALSO: 7 Puzzles That Will Trick Your Brain
The bench clarified that if the students clear the tests within the stipulated time, all the advantages shall be restored to them and their degrees will stand revived.
he court on Friday restrained all deemed universities across the country from continuing any distance learning courses from 2018-19 without prior approval of the regulatory authorities and ordered a CBI probe into granting of retrospective approvals to four of them.
Cannot provide technical education through correspondence, rules Supreme Court
The top court also directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to restrain such institutions from using the word ‘University’ within one month from today, observing that commercialisation of education “seriously affects the credibility of standards in education, eroding power and essence of knowledge and seriously affecting excellence and merit”.
“We restrain all Deemed to be Universities to carry on any courses in distance education mode from the Academic Session 2018-2019 onwards unless and until it is permissible to conduct such courses in distance education mode and specific permissions are granted by the concerned statutory/ regulatory authorities in respect of each of those courses,” the bench said.
“It goes without saying that any promotion or advancement in career on the basis of such degree shall also stand withdrawn, however any monetary benefits or advantages in that behalf shall not be recovered from them,” Justice Lalit, who penned down 118-page verdict for the bench, said.
“Those students who do not wish to exercise the option, shall be refunded the entire money deposited by them towards tuition fee and other charges within one month of the exercise of such option. Needless to say their degrees shall stand cancelled and all benefits shall stand withdrawn,” it said.
The verdict came on a batch of appeals challenging the orders of the High Courts of Orissa and Punjab and Haryana by which the former held the degrees in engineering obtained by serving diploma holders through distance learning mode offered by certain deemed universities to be valid, whereas the latter termed such degrees to be invalid.