The University Grants Commission has issued a notification that the open distance learning programmes offered by Periyar University are in violation of the UGC Regulations, 2020.
The UGC has said the university was recognised by the erstwhile Distance Education Council for the period from 2007-08 to 2014-15 and by the UGC-Distance Education Bureau for 2019-20 (academic session January 2020 only) for offering the open distance learning courses.
UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain said in the notification that the UGC had received representations that the university’s open distance learning branch was functioning without a full-time director and faculty members and inadequate non-teaching staff members. The complaints would be forwarded to Tamil Nadu’s Secretary for Higher Education “for fact-finding and needful action”.
The university’s open distance learning programmes were in “gross violation of the conditions laid down under UGC (Open and Distance Learning Regulations), 2017, and UGC (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020, and their amendments from time to time”.
At its meeting held on February 12, the UGC decided not to consider any application from the university for 2022-23 and 2023-24. Also, it had not processed the university’s application for 2021-22 to offer open distance learning programmes.
The UGC has cautioned the students to “not take admission in any programme offered by Periyar University through the open distance learning mode”; otherwise, it could jeopardise their career.
Earlier, the UGC issued a similar notice to Annamalai University but the university is not only offering the courses, by getting a stay on the order from the Madras High Court, but is also planning to hold the semester examinations in June.