PTU barred from admitting students in distance courses

The Distance Education Council (DEC) has barred Jalandhar's Punjab Technical University (PTU) to conduct any admissions under its distance education programmes till it gets a renewal of recognition to run these courses.

The university has already started the process of admission to such programmes offered through various learning centres across the country. The process of late admission to these courses is still on. A joint committee of the DEC, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and University Grants Commission (UGC) regulate the running of distance education courses in the country. In a letter to the university dated October 12, DEC/IGNOU Director Dr Bharat Bhushan has stated that the university's application for renewal of its distance education courses is pending with the DEC.

"Since the recognition accorded to your university by DEC was upto 2011-2012, which has already expired, no fresh admission for any programme through distance mode may be given till a decision is taken by the EC in this regard... This may be complied with immediately in order to safeguard the interest of the students at large," the letter stated.

According to sources, the PTU had applied for the renewal of its recognition in March but the case has been pending since. The delay reportedly comes in wake of the CBI registering a case against former DEC chairman and IGNOU Vice-Chancellor V N Rajasekharan Pillai in July for allegedly granting permission to two private universities to run distance education courses in violation of rules. One of these universities was the PTU.

The CBI had stated that the DEC had allowed PTU to offer some courses despite a negative opinion of the AICTE-IGNOU-UGC joint committee, which monitors the running of distance education programmes across the country. It had added that PTU admitted several lakh students in its 894 centres and made a profit of Rs 384 crore by running these courses.

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