DU distance learning students left in the jitter

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Many aspirants for government jobs have been left in the lurch after the Delhi University distance-learning course they undertook was not recognised by the recruitment body Staff Selection Commission (SSC). SSC, a government recruitment body constituted by the government, has cancelled the candidature of all the students who graduated from School of Open Learning (SOL), University of Delhi, claiming their degrees were not recognised by the Distance Education Council (DEC). 'I have received a memorandum from SSC instructing me to get a certificate from DEC failing which my candidature will be cancelled,' Subhash Chandra Tiwari, a graduate from SOL selected for the post of tax assistant, told sources.

The memorandum sent by SSC says, 'If the universities offering Distance Learning Mode of Education are not recognised by the Distance Education Council (DEC), the degrees issued by it are not valid. Graduation is essential qualification for the above noted examination.' After completing the SSC examination that consists of a written exam as well as an interview, the candidates are appointed for posts such as excise, income tax inspectors and section officers. When the source approached the DEC, he was told that they had no problem in recognizing SOL, but they had not been approached. DEC director Manjulika Srivastava said, 'We don't have any problem in giving them recognition but till now nobody form SOL has tried to contact us in this regard.' Delhi University SOL deputy registrar M.A. Shikandar argued, 'We do not require any recognition from DEC as SOL, Delhi University is India's oldest institution providing distance education. Moreover DEC is governed by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and one university cannot give any kind of recognition to another.' 'We are also challenging the issue in Delhi High Court Friday and we will soon get it sorted out,' said Shikandar. Delhi University has been providing higher education through distance learning since 1962 while IGNOU which came into being much later. 'In this fight of ego between the two organisations we are suffering. DEC is ready to give their recognition to Delhi University SOL but DU authorities think they will not seek affiliation from DEC as it is matter of prestige,' Deepak Sharma, a SOL student who qualified for the post of excise inspector told sources. 'Around three hundred thousand students from across the country are enrolled in SOL in courses offered by the Delhi University,' told H.C. Pokhriyal, Executive Director, SOL. The selection panel has even started cancelling candidature of students who have failed to submit required certificates from the university regarding recognition of SOL by DEC.

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