Facing widespread criticism, the Board of Management of Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) on Monday reversed its decisions to relax entry requirements for the PhD programme.
With this, Kannada and Culture Minister Umashree and former minister C T Ravi stand to lose a chance to pursue their PhDs.
Express first reported the university’s decision to relax its norms on minimum marks to allegedly help the minister qualify for PhD.
The board members condemned the decision to reduce qualifying marks for PhD viva voce from 50 per cent to 40 per cent and also allowing those who had not completed their bachelor’s degree to pursue doctoral degrees.
Both Umashree and Ravi had applied for PhD based on their post graduation.
Sources said board members took the issue being discussed in the media very seriously and felt that the university should stick to UGC norms. The norms state that in order to ensure quality, one should get 50 per cent marks in the PhD entrance test to qualify for viva voce.
MLCs G Madhusudana, Sandesh Nagaraj and Vijayanagar Sri Krishnadevaraya University Vice-Chancellor Manjappa D Hosamani were vocal in opposing the university’s decision. Vice-Chancellor M G Krishnan accepted the suggestions made by the members in this regard.
Krishnan confirmed that the decision has been reversed. However, he justified both the decisions, reiterating that no laws were violated in the process.
He also said he always believed that an open university is different from a traditional university.
Meanwhile, in Bangalore, a complaint was filed with the Lokayukta against KSOU for decreasing the PhD entrance exam eligibility marks allegedly to favour Umashree. “Eligibility marks were slashed after she scored only 43 per cent,” NGO Human Rights and Non-Corruptions Committee said.