Take strict action against illegal distance study centres, HC tells state

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The Gujarat High Court (HC) on Tuesday directed the state to strike down upon distance study centres that are being run without requisite permission from the state or local universities. The high court was of the opinion that it is the state’s responsibility to protect the interest of the students.

The second division bench of justice MR Shah and justice BN Karia were hearing an appeal moved in 2016 by 12 aspiring candidates for the post of Vidhya Sahayaks. The qualification of the candidates, who had completed their MSc degree through distance learning from the Madurai Kamraj University, were not taken into account while preparing the Vidhya Sahayak merit list. The aspiring candidates ended up losing an important opportunity because of the exclusion.

While hearing the petition on Tuesday, the division bench asked the state to lodge a First Information Report (FIR) against those distance study centres that are being run illegally as well as putting the career of lakhs of students at risk.

The HC also opined that a study should be conducted to find out how many such centres are being run in the state of Gujarat without the consent of the local university or the state.

The HC also orally observed that the state has been taking proactive measure by putting a list of approved or affiliated colleges, universities and distance study centres.

However, even after such proactive measures, if such centres continue to flourish the state needs to step up and take adequate measures. The state is expected to file a reply by September 8 when the matter will be taken up for hearing again.


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