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Utkal ban on multiple degrees

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 10: Utkal University authorities have imposed a ban on students willing to pursue a second postgraduation (PG) degree.

The varsity authorities said though the rule existed for the past 10 years, they were lenient about double degrees as far as self-financing or professional courses were concerned. However, from this year, it will be a blanket ban.

Candidates said they were not aware of such a rule. “I had spent Rs 400 on the application form and even appeared for the entrance test for the journalism course. After the results were declared last week, I found out that I was not eligible since I already hold a masters degree,” said Abhishek, a student.

Sources said a postgraduate from the Utkal University, who had applied for a second PG, has filed a writ petition in Orissa High Court to revoke the rule.

A university official said the rule had been applied to all courses, regular as well as self-financing, as the system of multiple degrees was not serving its purpose. “We found most students, pursuing a second or third PG here, took admissions just for the sake of it. They would not attend classes or appear for their examinations. They were more interested in idle pursuits and created a lot of disturbance on the campus,” said a senior official.

He added that though there were a few candidates, who were serious about their studies, the decision had been taken in the larger interest of the students’ community. “Those trouble-makers used to block seats in classes as well as in hostels which could have been allotted to deserving students. With this rule, poor but meritorious students from remote areas would also be able to get a seat here,” he said.