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Nearly 30,000 engineers will have to appear for an examination to ensure that their degrees remain "valid", after the Supreme Court recently ordered suspension of degrees awarded through distance mode by four deemed universities. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had last week suspended engineering degrees awarded by four deemed-to-be-universities namely, JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Institute of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE), Rajasthan, Allahabad Agricultural Institute (AAI) and Vinayaka Mission's Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu, through distance mode. The move came following an order by the apex court last month which had restrained universities across the country from continuing any distance learning courses from 2018-19, without prior approval of regulatory authorities. The court had also ordered a CBI probe into granting of retrospective approvals to four of them. "Nearly 30,000 students are expected to be affected by the move and are likely to register for the exam which will be conducted in May or June.
The candidates have time till January 15 to register for the same and this will be their only chance to retain validity of their degrees," a senior official said. The universities have also been directed by the court to return the tuition fee and other expenditure incurred by the students. The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) rules mandate that engineering degrees cannot be offered through distance education mode.
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