HC stays UGC's 2018 amendment to Open University Regulation Act

By PTI Published on Jul 19, 2018 04:50 PM IST

Madurai: The Madras High Court today stayed the UGC's 2018 amendment to the Open University and Distance Learning Regulation Act related to NAAC accreditation for distance education programmes.

Admitting a PIL filed by Santosh Baboo, registrar of theĀ Manonmaniam Sundaranar University (MSU), Justices M Duraisamy and Anitha Sumanth stayed the amendment. The petitioner submitted that the amendment, which stipulated that NAAC accreditation with a minimum cumulative grade point was necessary for universities offering distance education, had exempted open universities from the rule.

If an amendment was done with the objective of regulating higher education, then it should be applicable to all universities and higher educational institutions. Besides, NAAC accreditation is required only for regular mode courses, wherein infrastructure, research facilities and faculty strength are taken into consideration, he said.

"For providing distance learning facilities, different parameters should be applied and it was not intelligent to mix up the two," he said. The MSU had applied for approval/recognition of its distance learning programme to UGC under the new amendment. Thus the university was facing an 'odd situation', he said and prayed that the amendment be stayed by an interim direction.