Bengaluru: In a huge relief to thousands of students, the Karnataka High Court yesterday permitted the State government to implement suggestions of an expert committee, which has recommended to the State to initiate a one-time measure to validate marks cards issued to students of non-technical in-house courses for academic years 2013-14 and 2014-15.
Justice A.S. Bopanna passed the order while modifying the earlier interim order and clarified that the government can implement only those suggestions made under the title “recommendations to protect the interests of students” of KSOU. However, the government for now cannot act on the other recommendations of the committee, which was headed by Chief Secretary K. Ratna Prabha, who was then Additional Chief Secretary.
The Court modified the order while hearing a petition filed by the KSOU Non-Teaching Employees’ Association, which had questioned the government’s power to constitute the expert committee to look into issues of KSOU while contending that only the Chancellor has such power. The Association, however, had not challenged the issue related to protecting the interests of students as this subject was referred to the committee at a later stage.
“…The government can issue an order to validate and recognise the marks cards and may take up the matter with the Chancellor to award the degree certificate, which will be of use for seeking public employment, departmental promotional opportunities and also pursuing higher education. This should be done within 15 days so that the time lost is made up,” the committee suggested.
It also suggested that KSOU take up a drive and ensure all students of previous years, prior to 2013, who have not been given marks cards and degrees are also addressed, and students who have not completed their courses of various batches should also be allowed to complete the non-technical courses and degrees awarded to them.
The committee, however, said it was illegal on part of the KSOU to offer technical courses under the Academic Collaborative Institutions as the UGC had not granted recognition to technical courses.
The government may try to help students of technical courses, and if it is not possible, then KSOU should refund the amount to students who were admitted to technical courses, the committee suggested.