The students began the padayatra from Mysuru on October 9 and reached Bengaluru on October 13.

Hundreds of students protest govts move to shut down Karnataka State Open University demand justice
news Protest Friday, October 13, 2017 - 18:11
Ever since the University Grants Commission derecognised the Karnataka State Open University(KSOU) in June 2015, many students have been left in the lurch.
 
Hundreds of students from across the state gathered at Bengaluru’s Freedom Park to protest the state government’s move to shut down the KSOU. The Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad, along with the students of KSOU, conducted a padayatra called 'Bengaluru Chalo'. The students began the padayatra from Mysuru on October 9 and reached Bengaluru on Friday.
 
“The degree marks cards that the Karnataka government had given us is apparently fake. We had applied for jobs and no one is offering us one because of this. We want authentic marks cards and degree certificates. We want the government to solve this issue as are careers are at stake,” said Navaneet Kumar, a student who was at the protest.

“Let them sort out our marks card and degree certificate issue first. The government is already thinking about transferring teachers to other state universities. Let them solve our issue, and then transfer the teachers and shut down the university. All we are asking is that they don’t let it affect our career,” said Shri Bachare, another student.
 
The students also met Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday, who is visiting Bengaluru, and sought his help in finding a solution to the imbroglio surrounding the KSOU.
 
Javadekar assured the students that he will hold a meeting with officials from the state government and the UGC, and student representatives on October 17, to find a solution to the problem.
 
The University Grants Commission derecognised the KSOU, invalidating the courses in the college from the academic year 2012–13 onwards. This derecognition had happened in June 2015.
 
“KSOU, in collaboration with private institutions/entities/coaching centres spread all over the country and even abroad, has been offering programmes through distance learning mode by blatantly flouting the norms, guidelines and directives of UGC and erstwhile Distance Education Council (DEC) of Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi,” the UGC’s notice dated 16 June 2015 stated.
 
Nearly four lakh aggrieved students from Karnataka and outside the state want the issue resolved as their future is in jeopardy. Over three lakh students from outside Karnataka and 94,000 students from Karnataka had taken admission to various courses at the time of the derecognition. Since 2015, no admissions have taken place in the KSOU.
 
Students who had taken admission to programmes of the KSOU in 2013–14 and 2014–15 are the ones who have been affected as they are uncertain of getting degrees until the government finds a solution.
 
The students were left worse off when the Minister for Higher Education Basavaraj Rayaraddi, on October 10, said that the government may even consider shutting down the KSOU if the UGC does not change its stand.
 
The matter also reached the Prime Minister’s Office, as a petition was filed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the Mysore Grahakara Parishat urging Javadekar to resolve the issue immediately.
 
The reasons the UGC had cited for derecognition is that the university had allegedly violated territorial jurisdiction, had opened study centres outside the state and signed MoUs with private institutions for conducting programmes and technical courses.
 
KSOU, in its recent public notice, claimed that it had complied with all directives of the UGC and had legally terminated the MoUs entered with academic collaborative institutions besides terminating franchising of education.
 
“I don’t think anything more is left for us to submit to the UGC seeking recognition. About 40,000 pages of documents have been submitted since the time the recognition was terminated. The Minister has given us an appointment to submit our petition. We are hoping for a positive change,” KSOU Registrar Chandrashekar told media persons.
 
The KSOU has also filed a writ of mandamus in the Karnataka High Court seeking a directive to the UGC for an early decision on the recognition issue.
 
The UGC’s new set of guidelines and regulations for recognition for universities offering higher education in Open Distance Learning mode are expected to be applicable from January 2018 onwards. 

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