COIMBATORE: After the Madras High Court summoned Higher Education secretary Mangat Ram Sharma, Bharathiar University registrar (in charge) B Vanitha and eight other syndicate members in a contempt of court proceedings, Governor-Chancellor Banwarilal Purohit has sought a report from the university. When a case filed by Association of Self Financing Arts, Science and Management Colleges came up for hearing at the Madras HC on December 8, last year, Bharathiar University Registrar (in charge) filed an affidavit stating that it will not operate distance education study centres and will not grant affiliation and recognition relating to distance education to be conducted outside Tamil Nadu from 2018-19 academic year.
Based on that, the HC had prohibited the university authorities from running study centres outside Tamil Nadu. Meanwhile, the university —after a meeting in Chennai on November 28 — passed a resolution allowing study centres to function for 2018-19 academic year. Challenging this move, private colleges association filed a contempt petition in the HC. When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, Justice N Kirubakaran who stayed the operation of the university’s recent resolution asked, ‘Are the court orders so ineffective to be violated or are they paper orders to be ignored?”
He also summoned Higher Education secretary Mangat Ram Sharma, who was also the convenor of University’s V-C committee, registrar (in charge) B Vanitha and syndicate members who approved the resolution to appear in court on January 7. Following the Madras High Court’s strong observation, Governor Banwarilal Purohit sought a report from the university. As instructed, a history of the decision has been sent to the governor’s office, said Vanitha.
Association of University Teachers (AUT) former general secretary C Pichandy pointed out that the Bharathiar University did not have any right to run distance education courses under franchise mode; not only outside Tamil Nadu but within too. UGC secretary Rajnish Jain in a letter to the then Higher Education secretary Sunil Paliwal (dated June 20) had said that a UGC circular (dated August 9, 2001) had asked all universities to stop franchising their degree education through private agencies or establishments with immediate effect. He also mentioned erstwhile Distance Education Council notification dated January 31, 2012, which also prohibited franchising of study centres by any institution or university.