Mysuru: There are conflicting signals for the much-harried students of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) even as Chief Minister Siddharamaiah blamed the previous Vice-Chancellors (VCs) for the mess and Additional Chief Secretary Ratna Prabha tweeted yesterday that the recognition to the Open University would be delayed and there was every possibility of it not getting recognition this year.
Meanwhile, KSOU VC Prof. D. Shivalinagaiah, speaking to Star of Mysore here this morning, expressed confidence that they would get the recognition this year itself.
“On Feb. 6, this year four of us from the University had taken all the documents weighing 90-kg to University Grants Commission (UGC) Office. Eight months have passed. They should have given us a reply by now. We are preparing for the new rules and regulations imposed by the UGC. Hence, we are confident of still getting recognition for the current 2017-18 year,” said Prof. Shivalingaiah and added “the recognition will be only for non-technical courses and not the technical ones.”
However, if one goes by the tweet of the Additional Chief Secretary Ratna Prabha, all hopes for the thousands of students who have been waiting for their degree certificates will be dashed and their future in doldrums. Even those who are waiting to write the exams in the current year are directionless.
She has tweeted that only if the new rules are implemented will the KSOU get recognition. Hence, it is quite doubtful that it would get it this year. And she has added that if it does not get recognition this year, then no one can do anything about it.
KSOU future bleak
Meanwhile, a source in the KSOU, speaking to Star of Mysore on condition of anonymity, presented a bleak picture for the students and the staff of KSOU. “Income Tax and Sales Tax has not been paid for years. If the Court orders that Rs. 2 lakh should be paid for each student, then KSOU will be left with no money this year itself,” he said.
The source revealed that for many years there is shortage of teaching staff in the University. UGC guidelines say that for every subject there should be one Professor and two Associate Professors. This has not been followed.
At present, there are 600 staff and nearly 40,000 students who will all be put to extreme hardship if the recognition is delayed. “It is a sad spectacle to see the intelligent students who have passed various competitive exams coming to us for the degree certificates, only to find that they are worthless as the courses have been de-recognised from 2012-13 itself. And if this situation continues, the Open University is likely to be closed as there will be no money for anything,” said the source.
Asked about the Bridge Courses offered by KSOU for the students to improve their standards before they take up regular courses, he said that the Bridge Course Certificates were equivalent to SSLC and PUC pass Certificates and as a result many had applied for the posts of drivers, conductors, cooks and other jobs. Even they have no hope to get jobs.
MP Pratap Simha reacts
MP Pratap Simha, after attending the Airport Advisory Committee meeting at the Mysuru Airport, reacting to a question on KSOU, told the media today that he was making all efforts to see that the Varsity gets recognition once again. “I had taken the then VC Prof. M.G. Krishnan and later the current VC Prof. Shivalinagaih to Delhi to meet the UGC officials. However, the issue is regarding various violations and added to that is the fake marks card racket that is escalating the problems,” he said.
“It is not enough if the Chief Minister just writes to the UGC and sits back. We should all come together, go and meet the HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and try to resolve the issue. I think by next academic year the problem can be resolved,” he hoped.