The Madras high court in a recent verdict said Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) does not have to obtain approval from the AICTE to offer technical courses.
Rajesh P Sankaramatam, an employee of Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), Avadi, completed a three-year diploma in mechanical engineering from IGNOU in 2012.
In 2013, CVRDE invited applications for senior technical assistant’s post. The minimum qualification for the post was diploma in engineering. Rajesh P Sankaramatam also applied for the post, but his application was rejected. The ground for the rejection was : IGNOU course had not been approved by the AICTE.
He moved the Central Administrative Tribunal, which dismissed his petition.
He approached the Madras High Court.
Countering the plaintiff’s claim, the CVRDE said the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) as a policy, does not recognize technical courses done through distance education mode.
To this, Rajesh’s counsel M Dhandapani countered that Being a university, IGNOU could commence a technical course without approval from the AICTE.
A division bench of Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice P Devadass said that it is not competent to decide the validity of a technical degree for appointments or promotions. The Court directed CVRDE not to reject the application and if the examination was scheduled during pendency of the petition, Rajesh was eligible to appear. The Court also directed Rajesh to move the University Grants Commission (UGC) for necessary relief.
The Court in its verdict said,
“In the matter of higher education, it is necessary to maintain minimum standards of education and such minimum qualifications are required to be defined by UGC.”
Interpreting the HC verdict in context to IGNOU technical course and AICTE approval
The Court in principle has agreed with the plaintiff’s counsel that Being a university, IGNOU could commence a technical course without approval from the AICTE. And since a University maintains minimum standards of education and such minimum qualifications that are required to be defined by UGC ; hence it can run courses on its own without the prior approval of the AICTE. That’s why IGNOU directed Rajesh to approach UGC for necessary relief.
But since, AICTE is the governing body for technical courses in India, hence the Court is not competent to decide the validity of a technical degree for appointments or promotions.
Should you or shouldn’t you do technical course from IGNOU?
For this we need to wait for the final verdict of the Court in this regard.