Education

Close to a year since hundred of students gathered in Bengaluru to protest against the closure of the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), the University Grants Commission has finally re-recognised the institution for the next five years.

The UGC in a notification passed on August 9 has given a go-ahead to the open university to conduct 17 courses for the next five academic years, and has asked the university administration to follow an online admission process which should be finished by October 1.

But a cloud of uncertainty remains in the minds of close to one lakh 2013-16 batch students. While the UGC has given a go ahead to conduct admissions for the coming session, there is no clarity if the students of 2013-16 batch can get their degrees.

When asked about the same on Twitter, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha said that he had spoken to the HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar about it, and that they (the government) will soon conduct a bridge course and a test.

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Karnataka Higher Education Minister GT Deve Gowda had also said, “The issue will be presented again to the Governor next week when I meet him to explain the issue in person.”

Background

The state government in October 2017 had suggested the closing down of the university after the UGC de-recognised courses in the college from the academic year 2012–13 onwards while the university itself was de-recognised in 2015. The repeated snub by the UGC made the state government consider closing down the university.

The UGC had found that Mysuru-based KSOU was “blatantly flouting” norms set by the UGC and Distance Education Council (DEC) of Indira Gandhi National Open University. The discrepancy by KSOU included violating territorial jurisdiction by opening study centres outside the state and signing MoUs with private institutions for conducting programmes and technical courses.   

However, this charges were refuted by the administration. The pressure of close to 3 lakh students made then CM SIddaramaiah petition Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar had also assured help after a delegation of students met him.

But it was the Karnataka High Court in December 2017, which gave hope to the thousands of students as it asked the UGC to grant recognition to KSOU within two weeks.