Gauhati University has been offering 21 unapproved courses for 7 years jeopardizing career of around 74,000 students.

According to a  Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report, Gauhati University collected Rs 39 crore as enrollment fees in seven years from the students by offering unapproved courses through its distance learning centre.

The findings of the CAG were tabled during the ongoing Winter Session of the Assam Legislative Assembly.

The report said Gauhati University, which is the oldest university in the Northeast submitted multiple false affidavits to the UGC with assurance to the commission that it would not start any new distance course without approval.

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), the CAG said, with approval of the Distance Education Council (DEC), recognised the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) of Gauhati University (GU) in August 2010 for offering a total of 8 courses for three years from 2010-11.

The report said: “It was specifically instructed that IDOL, GU shall not offer any other course through distance mode other than the eight courses.”

The report further said the University Grants Commission (UGC) later extended the approval for five more years from 2013-14 to 2017-18.

According to the CAG report, the recognition was offered based on recommendations of the joint committee comprising the University Grants Commission, Distance Education Council and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

The CAG in its report said: “Audit observed that IDOL, GU had offered 21 unapproved courses beyond the approved eight courses through ODL (open and distance learning) mode during the year 2010-11 to 2016-17.”

It also said: “Audit also observed that 73,912 students were enrolled in 19 courses out of 21 unapproved courses during the year 2010-11 to 2016-17 and the GU collected fees of Rs 39.06 crore on these unapproved courses.”

The report mentioned that the Distance Education Council and the IGNOU had clearly stated in July 2013 that courses offered by Gauhati University through distance mode other than the 8 approved courses were not recognised by the DEC and such degrees were not valid for jobs under the central government.

The government was reported in this regard in August 2018, but no reply has been received so far, the CAG said.

The CAG in its report has pointed out that since these courses were not approved by the UGC, the degrees or certificates received by the students (73,912) will not be valid.

Now, the big question is what would happen to these 73,912 students, who have received degrees or certificates from the university after spending huge amount of money, as their degrees and certificates would not be valid for central government services.

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