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Ban on MPhil course lifted

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By Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 1.08.08

Guwahati, Aug. 1: The cloud over degrees obtained through distance education in Assam has ended with the education department lifting the ban imposed on MPhil degrees acquired through such a mode.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) in its response to queries posed by a lecturer of a Guwahati-based college said MPhil degrees offered by Distance Education Council (DEC)-recognised institutions were valid. It also enclosed a list of the institutions offering distance education in India.

A copy of the UGC’s reply was sent to the Directorate of Higher Education, Assam, an official said.

The official in the Directorate of Higher Education, Assam, popularly known as DPI, told The Telegraph that the decision to lift the ban — imposed after Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University stopped recognising MPhil and PhD degrees obtained through the distance education mode — was taken three days back. About 25 candidates who had acquired degrees from institutions under the Directorate of Distance Education, have been allowed to join as regular lecturers.

Dispur had moved the UGC on May 5, requesting it not to give exemption to those applying for lecturer’s jobs with the degrees as the two universities were not recognising the degrees since March.

The official said since the DPI could not intervene in academic matters, it was awaiting the UGC clarification which it had received now.

“The UGC, in its response to the RTI queries posed by the lecturer of a Guwahati-based college, N. Rajbongshi, said that MPhil offered by DEC-recognised institutions are valid. A copy of the same reply was also sent to directorate of higher education. We are now accepting such degrees, “ the official said.

The DEC has given provisional recognition to 144 institutions in India, including Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University in Assam, to offer courses in various subjects.

That the ban has been lifted was confirmed by an official of the Directorate of Higher Education today. It was also confirmed by the UGC’s regional office in Guwahati and the Assam College Teachers Association.

Sources said the lifting of the ban would benefit hundreds of candidates who were pursuing such degrees as the two universities in the state did not offer MPhil in all subjects or could not accommodate the rush of candidates after either MPhil or PhD or NET or SLET were made mandatory to secure a job of a lecturer in 2006.