Madurai Kamaraj University has made a decision to directly run all its distance education centers in Tamil Nadu without the participation of private players.
Highly-placed sources said this decision to run the distant education centers directly was taken at the Finance Committee meeting of the university, chaired by Higher Education Secretary and Convenor of Syndicate Committee of MKU Sunil Paliwal, in Chennai on Saturday.
"Malpractices", The main cause!
According to Sources, the decision was made in order to improve the university’s revenue and to avert issues related to alleged inefficiencies and malpractices that have been raised in the past regarding some privately-run centers. Allegations were raised last year regarding mass copying by students of an academic center in Dharmapuri and widespread malpractices in a center in Theni were cases in point.
University sources said the Directorate of Distance Education (DDE) of MKU, which is a major revenue source for the university, had been running 99 centers across Tamil Nadu, apart from those in other States and overseas.
The centers in Tamil Nadu, the majority of which are run by private players, are reportedly operated on a 60-40 revenue sharing basis with 60 % of the revenue going to the university.
Sources, however, added that the university was yet to work out a detailed plan for taking over the control of all the distance education centers as it will require considerable manpower and other resources.
Sources privy to the proceedings of the Finance Committee meeting said the Higher Education Secretary advised the university officials to complete the streamlining of temporary workers soon since the university had estimated around ₹ 4 crores for their salary in 2017-18.
“Compared to 370 permanent staff members, there are 624 casual laborers engaged on a temporary basis. Hence there is a need to assess how many are actually needed,” a university official said.
“Similarly, it has also been decided to relieve six retired staff members, whose service had been extended on a consolidated pay basis,” he said.
University sources said that it was also decided in the meeting to take disciplinary action against a Superintendent-rank official who had allegedly swindled affiliation fees collected from colleges.