KSOU recognition: High Court orders issuance of notice to UGC Secretary

Bengaluru: The High Court of Karnataka has ordered issuance of notice to Prakash Kumar Thakur, Secretary, University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, on a contempt of court petition, which alleged that the UGC failed to grant recognition to Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) to start non-technical in-house courses for the 2017-18 academic year. A Division Bench comprising Justice B.S. Patil and Justice Aravind Kumar passed the order yesterday on the petition filed by KSOU. The Bench posted the petition for further consideration on Feb. 8.

KSOU alleged that UGC had failed to obey the order passed by a single Judge Bench of the Court on Dec. 12, 2017. The Judge had directed UGC to grant recognition within two weeks to start non-technical in-house courses on par with 106 other Universities that have been granted recognition in 2015-16 without taking into consideration the time factor in granting recognition as no other reason was cited by the UGC to withhold recognition to KSOU.

Hearing the case last month, the High Court had directed the UGC to grant recognition to KSOU by applying the parity principle. It had ordered the commission to comply with its order within two weeks. But the KSOU claimed that despite communicating the High Court’s order to the UGC, the Commission has not complied with the order.

The KSOU had first approached the Court last year, claiming UGC had refused to take a decision on granting recognition for the academic year 2017-18 despite repeated requests. It further contended that documents downloaded from UGC’s website showed that the commission had accorded ‘ex-post facto’ recognition to 106 universities across the country, with 35 universities being recognized during the fag end of the academic year (Dec. 2015 to May 2016).

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