In a significant verdict, the Delhi High Court directed that Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has no "legal power" either to set up or award recognition to a college or institution that impart regular education. IGNOU was established in 1985 to promote Distance Education in India and do not hold the authority to work on “face-t-face” programs.
Earlier this year, IGNOU was dragged to court by various institutions on the ground of awarding them recognition to run regular courses, but did not meet the legal requirements related to same.
The Hindustan Aviation Academy is the first institute allowed by the IGNOU to run regular B. Tech and Diploma programs in the area of Aerospace Engineering. But later, IGNOU noticed that its approval to run "face-to-face" program did not go in line with the legal requirements and hence, asked the institutes to put hold on the admission process. IGNOU also noticed that the mandatory prior approval from All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for running technical courses was also not taken by the institutes.
Drawing on a bunch of petitions filed by IGNOU approved institutions, Justice V K Jain said, "since IGNOU had no legal authority to set up or recognize institutions/colleges on the lines of regular colleges where education is imparted by way of face-to-face programs, requiring students to mandatorily attend classes, the petitioners' institutes cannot be said to be institutions, constituent colleges, units or affiliated colleges of IGNOU, nor can they be said the 'study centers’ within the meaning of the IGNOU Act."
The court also reprimanded IGNOU for not informing students about its decision to suspend admissions for academic years 2012-13 in such colleges.
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