67,000 IDOL students are in an un-ideal situation

Mumbai: Students pursuing courses at the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) at Mumbai University (MU) are in a state of panic as IDOL is still not recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC). A circular released by the UGC states that students who complete their courses from unrecognised institutions will not be able to claim any benefits.

Around 67,000 students have secured admission in IDOL this year for various courses. There are over 14 different courses managed by 25 teachers at IDOL on Kalina campus. Most of these students are from far-off districts and cities of Maharashtra who wish to study a course through distance learning.

Recently, UGC, the apex body managing grants of various universities, released a list of recognised universities and IDOL was not included in this list. The UGC released a circular stating, “No course other than the one mentioned in the list would be recognised and no candidate studying unrecognised course can claim any benefits.”

Students are unsure whether they will be eligible for pursuing Master’s programme from any other university, if they complete an Undergraduate (UG) degree from IDOL. Sakshi Joshi, a student said,  “If we are studying in an unrecognised institution, then will our graduation  results be considered tenable? IDOL provides a range of varied courses and is economical and flexible in terms of fees and classes, so we chose to study here. We hope MU  secures UGC recognition and it does not impact  our careers.”Officials at IDOL claimed that they are in the process of securing UGC recognition.

Vinod Malale, Spokesperson of IDOL said, “We have submitted our application to UGC and are awaiting their response. Once we get it, we will get approval for due recognition.” The delay in declaration of MU results last year affected recognition from UGC. Malale added, “We have all the necessary infrastructure, facilities, provisions, courses, teachers and all the requirements that are necessary for UGC recognition. Students need not fear as we are constantly conducting meetings with UGC for this purpose.”

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