Each time a student enrolls in a distance education programme offered by the State-run Bharathiar University in Coimbatore, a private study centre in Bangalore earns two per cent of the tuition fees remitted by the student.
The study centre in question has been designated as National Coordination Centre for School of Distance Education of Bharathiar University since June, 2011.
Dubbing this as a dubious arrangement, faculty associations have begun to question why a private party should be paid such commissions, which cumulatively would run to several lakh rupees, when the university has a full-fledged School of Distance Education to handle admissions.
Association of University Teachers (AUT) vice president C Pichandy wondered how the university has allowed study centres to function across the country when the UGC norms clearly state that distance education courses can be offered only within the territorial jurisdiction of a university.
“The State Government must order a probe by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption into this and take action against the guilty,” he demanded. However, defending the arrangement with the Bangalore-based study centre, Bharathiar University Vice Chancellor G James Pitchai said this was being done pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the centre. “The MoU is valid for three years, currently we do not have power to annul it,” he said.