Scrapping of external PG courses against the rules

Published: 24 December, 2012 09:26 IST | Niranjan Medhekar |

1983 ordinance says all public varsities need to make provision for external students; only Governor can amend regulation

Although the University of Pune (UoP) has almost decided on shutting the doors of its campus and around 100 affiliated colleges on external students of post-graduation (PG) courses in the name of implementing the credit system, MiD DAY has in its possession a copy of the Ordinance of the UoP (Ordinance No 150), which details how the varsity has to implement the system for external students.

The ordinance supporting the provision of external students came into effect in February 1983. So the question raised here is how come the academic council of the UoP can even discuss on scrapping the external system.

Rules are rules: The University of Pune main building; (below) the December 20 MiD DAY report on the likelihood of the university discontinuing external PG courses. File Pic

The ordinance states: “A student desirous to undergo two years MA, MCom, LLM or MA/Msc (Mathematics) Post Graduate course as an external student one shall register his name only once for whole PG course. The registration shall be valid for a period of four years from the date of such registration, provided he does not join another course.”

After MiD DAY in its article (‘UoP may discontinue external courses’, December 20) had reported how the UoP governing bodies were making attempts to restrict external students, students and teaching faculty reacted sharply against the proposed decision of the UoP.
An official of the UoP, on condition of anonymity, said, “The main problem of the governing bodies is the members who govern these bodies don’t have a basic knowledge about the University Act and even about statutes or ordinances. I am surprised as to how the academic council can discuss on wiping out external students when an ordinance clearly mentions the important place of external student in the public university.”

He further added that if colleges are not getting students for MA-MCom courses, as most students prefer to take external admission, it’s the college who is at fault and not the students. If colleges need students then they have to make sure they improve their academic standards.

Hema More, senior professor at Sir Parshurambhau College, said, “As a public university, it is the responsibility of the varsity to make sure that students from all socio-economic backgrounds get equal opportunity to pursue higher education. But if UoP closes the door on external students, it is certainly a breach of promise.”
“There are thousand of students like me who prefer external courses due to job or other family responsibilities. So if the university is introducing credit system at PG level, it should also make sure to accommodate external students in the new system. Just closing an option of pursuing PG externally is not at all in favour of students,” said Prasad Joshi, a first year LLM external student at th city’s Yashwantrao Chavhan Law College.

The Governor has the sole authority to change any ordinance or statute of the public university, as he is the chancellor of the public university. If any university feels the need to change any ordinance, it has to form a separate committee through which they can submit the draft of new ordinance to the Governor.

Principal Nandkumar Nikam, senior senate member of the UoP, said, “The governing body of the university can unanimously submit a draft to the Governor to change any ordinance of the university. If the Governor does not give his reply in the specified time (four or six months), the university can consider it as consent from the Chancellor and go ahead with changing the ordinance.  

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