Validity of Distance mode degrees

Prof Saleem Ayaz Rather
Distance Education or Distance Learning is a mode of delivering education and teaching often on an in dual basis, to the students who are not physically present in a traditional setting such as class room. Distance Learning provides ”Access to Learning when source of information and the Learner are seprated by time and distance or both. Distance education makes it possible for candidates to study at an education institute that may not otherwise be accessible to the candidates due to regional, physical or time constraints, but the same system of education was misused by some universities by setting up distance education centers away from the main campus. As a result no rules and regulations were followed when the examinations were conducted, mass copying was reported and what type education one can expect from such education centers. Today markets are decked with institutes that provide distance education degrees just for the heck of it. The result is the knowledge gained by the candidate is zero.
Thus after a long time J&K Govt. became serious about the validity of degrees obtained through distance mode when a large no. of candidates had already been absorbed in the Govt. services on the basis of their higher academic merit as compared to those pursuing  their studies from the main campus. A no. of newly selected candidates as well as those seeking departmental promotions were found to be in possession of degrees issued by various universities and in order to stop this practice, the Govt.issued an order vide                No 252-HE of 2012 dated30-05-12 regarding the validity of degrees obtained through distance mood which states as under
*  The degrees, obtained through distance education mode, which have been approved by the Distance Education Council and awarded from their headquarters by University Grants Commission recognized universities, established by an act of state Legislature, shall be recognized for the purpose of employment asit is the prerogative of the employer to prescribe the eligibility  for any post or service.,
*  The degree awarded through Distance mode by central Universities, established under the Act of Parliament and having jurisdiction to extend their activities in the entire country shall also be recognized.,
*  The degree obtained through distance education mode from off-campuses which have been established by the state universities beyond their territorial jurisdiction shall not be recognized;
*  That sub rule(3) of rule20 of the Rules notified vide SRO339 of 2005 dated 20-12-2005 allows students already enrolled in these institutions, to continue their studies till the conclusion of their academic programme, the degrees of all those who had acquired their degrees prior to coming into force of the rules those allowed to continue their studies till the conclusion of their academic session shall be considerd for being recognized with necessary amendments in the law wherever required;
*  M.Phil and Ph.D Degrees obtained through distance mode shall not be recognized as equivalent to the regular M.Phil and Ph.D Degrees awarded by any of the  universities as has been prescribed by the university Grants commission vide its notifications issued from time to time in this regard;
*  The degrees awarded by the universities, whether situated within or outside the state through distance mode in the subjects falling in science stream, where practical’s are part of curriculum, shall not be considered as equivalent to the corresponding degrees awarded through regular mode by state universities. However,degrees in such of the Distance Education Council approved Science subjects where practicals are part of the curriculum and are conducted from within the respective campuses of the university Grants commission recognized universities, established by an act of the Parliament or state Legisiative, shall also be recognized;
* Such of the courses in the streams of information Technology, computer sciences and Management which are approved by  the Distance Education council and All India council of Technical Education and degrees where of are awarded by the university Grants commission recognized  universities, established by an act of parliament from within the territorial jurisdiction of these universities shall also be recognized;
* Where the degrees in the Distance Education council approved courses, obtained through distance education, are such that these do not correspond to the degrees obtained through regular mode from the universities of Kashmir and Jammu and students claim their equivalence, such cases shall be referred by the recruiting agencies on case-to-case basis, to the state universities of Jammu and Kashmir for drawing equivalence. The decision taken thereto shall be final;
Thus the Govt. closed a no .of study centers operating in J&K state who were admitting the students directly and  after some time examinations were conducted. There was no harm to have…education….. through  the  study centers established by universities but before opening a study center in any state it was better to seek proper Permission from the Hr. Education Department Of that state and if permitted then the admission process as also the examinations must be conducted under the supervision of the university of that state so that all rules and regulations Pertaining to admission and examination are followed which were not followed earlier and this is why govt. Passed an order  with regard to validity of degrees through distance mood. With Jammu and Kashmir High court declaring as invalid” the Degrees awarded through distance education mood. However the degrees awarded by University of jammu, University of Kashmir, IGNOU, DOEACC and MANUU have been held as valid.