15-Aug-2018
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Recommendation for Open University for entire Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram July 27: In a policy level recommendation,  an expert committee constituted by the Higher Education Council of Kerala has made a recommendation to integrate the distance education wings of all four universities (Kerala, Calicut, Mahatma Gandhi and Kannur) and start a new open university.   
 
Those distance education centres of the four universities could be used as regional centres of the proposed open university,  the committee added. 
 
The recommendation also included opening of study centres under the regional centres.  The rationale for the open university cited by the committee is the heavy burden on existing universities,  who also have to look after affiliated colleges and conduct examinations. 
 
The functions related to overseeing distance education  is consuming considerable time and effort,  and affects the timely performance in examination schedules and publication of results.  On the other hand,  the  new open university can be a focused entity solely for distance education with resultant benefits.
 
The structure proposed open university is:  governor as chancellor,  education minister as pro chancellor,  and with officials including pro vice chancellor,  vice chancellor,  registrar, finance officer,   controller of examinations,  and regional directors.   
 
The government has to get enacted a new law to form the university,  and should obtain the recognition from the distance education bureau of the UGC.
 
The committee also recommended raising the budget for the universities for making up their loss of revenue consequent on separation of distance education.
 
The Higher Education Council, presided over by the Minister for Education,  approved the report of the committee and decided to pass it to the government for further action.