Delhi court forbids PTU to conduct distance education exams

Jasdeep Singh Malhotra

Jalandhar, March 14 -- A Delhi court on Thursday forbidden Punjab Technical University (PTU) to conduct final examinations of distance education courses.

Nearly 1.40 lakh students were slated to partake exams beginning Friday, which are now postponed throughout the country till further orders.

A student had moved Delhi court alleging that PTU had failed to announce results of September 2012 exams till date and the university did not even have mandatory permission of the Distance Education Council (DEC) to run these courses, following which he had sought stay on exam process.

While taking up the case of Amrendra Kumar versus SD Education Society and others, the Delhi's additional district judge Ajay Goel, in his five pages order, said that the surprising fact is that result of first semester has not been declared so far and there was no Delhi Education Council (DEC) recognition as on date to enable the university to run these courses.

"Hence, in these circumstances any examination to be held by the PTU will be nullity. Balance of convenience lies in favour of the applicant. The PTU is hereby restrained from conducting any examination till next date of hearing on March 18 as whole purpose of filing the suit will be frustrated, if ex-parte injunction is not granted," the court ordered.

When contacted Amanpreet Singh, controller of examination (distance education programme) PTU, confirmed that the regular and reappear exams for all streams under distance education mode, earlier scheduled to start from March 15, were postponed till further orders following a stay granted by a Delhi court in this regard.

The student Amrendra Kumar took admission in masters in computer applications (MCA) course last year after the PTU confirmed that it had requisite approvals and permissions of the statuary authorities to run such courses.

Kumar said he appeared for first semester exams in September 2012.

"The PTU has now directed thousands of students to appear for second semester exams without declaring results of the first semester exams. It will not be fruitful to appear for exams when the sanctity and legality of the course itself is doubtful," he alleged.

"The PTU had also outsourced the entire examination to a private company namely Future Educom, Delhi and this has further created doubts in students' minds as the same is against the guidelines and circulars issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The whole examination process has been outsourced to private companies of dubious integrity while learning centers are paying money to these agents to get the examination conducted at their centers," Kumar alleged.

He said that the PTU was playing with the future of students by not declaring the result of the first semester and running the courses without mandatory approvals.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court has restrained the PTU from admitting students under distance education mode till further orders for not obtaining DEC approval in this regard.

The applicant also demanded that SK Munjal, renowned industrialist and chairman, PTU board of governors, Rajneesh Arora, vice-chancellor and Aditya Jha of Future Educom should be directed not to outsource the examination to a private agency and pending results should declared before the conduct of examination.

Interestingly, the Delhi Police had registered an FIR against seven PTU functionaries including the vice-chancellor and the registrar for allegedly cheating the students by charging fees for them for distance courses without DEC approval to run such courses in the national capital.

Despite making several attempts vice-chancellor could not be reached.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.