BENGALURU: In another setback to Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), a one-man fact-finding committee appointed by Governor Vajubhai Vala to inquire into alleged irregularities has stated in its report that the Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) the varsity entered into with institutions outside Karnataka are illegal.
“I have opined that all the MoUs, including online programmes, entered into by KSOU are illegal. According to MoU, the obligation is on the part of KSOU to conduct the examinations, evaluate the answer scripts, but in reality, the collaborative institute performs that part of the obligation and sends a bill to the KSOU for payment or deducts it out of the amount payable to KSOU,” Justice Bhakthavatsala stated in his report to the Governor.
He further stated that none of the collaborative institutes have the required infrastructure and that they have not obtained permission from statutory authorities such as AICTE/MCI for conducting courses in technical/medical/para-medical subjects in Distance Mode.
Even in the case of Study Centres of Academic Collaborative Institutes, there is no required infrastructure, but the varsity has approved the study centres, he said.
He said it is crystal clear that during the tenure of prof K S Rangappa, the varsity has entered MoUs with institutes across the country and abroad. He introduced Online Programmes by entering into agreement with one Schoolguru Eduserve Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai. “The varsity, from the tenure of prof K Sudha Rao, the then vice-chancellor to till date, has committed a grave error in entering into MoUs with private persons, firms, societies, trusts, private limited companies, etc, permitting them to admit students, with an intention to generate funds for the varsity, without seeking legal opinion from the state government,” the report said.
The report stated the varsity did not publish the KSOU (Academic Collaborations) Statutes, 2011, in official gazette and has erred in filing writ petition challenging the show cause notice issued by DEC to stop admissions to programmes not recognised by it.