House panel for thorough probe into IGNOU issues

May 7, 2014

New Delhi : Expressing extreme unhappiness¯ over the turn of events in IGNOU, a parliamentary panel on Tuesday recommended a thorough probe¯ by an independent authority to examine the issues, including its controversial decision to discontinue community college scheme.

The Committee is of the firm view that it is high time that the entire issue is put to a thorough probe by an independent authority, said the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development in its report submitted to Rajya Sabha Chairman on Tuesday.

The inquiry committee should examine dissolution of the Distance Education Council, discontinuation of the Community Colleges Scheme, non-implementation of the recommendations of the Madhav Menon Committee fully, the High Powered Committee and the Review Committee on Community Colleges, ignoring the High Court directives with regard to Community Colleges and not protecting the interest of students, it said.

The 31-member panel headed by Birender Singh said the inquiry committee should also examine the issues including appointment of acting vice-chancellor, powers of acting vice-chancellor vis-a-vis regular vice-chancellor and viability of decisions taken by the acting vice-chancellor on crucial policies/schemes of the university.

Criticising the decision to discontinue the scheme of Community Colleges launched in July, 2009, the panel said it had run for about two years only and unfortunately, in the entire process, innocent students have become the victims for no fault of theirs¯.

The panel said a reasonable approach would have been to suggest measures for strengthening the scheme.s

The committee would also like to draw the attention of both the vice-chancellor, IGNOU and the Secretary, Higher Education, to the assurance given to it that interest of each and every student stood fully protected,¯ the Committee said.

Representatives of the 146 community colleges had complained to the panel that everything was going on smoothly till they received a letter from IGNOU that the Scheme of Community Colleges was being reviewed and till final outcome, the scheme was being kept in abeyance. ”PTI

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