The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that technical education cannot be provided through correspondence courses.
The apex court restrained educational institutions from providing courses in subjects like engineering in the distance education mode.
With its ruling, the top court set aside a verdict by the Odisha High Court, which earlier had allowed technical education by correspondence course.
The SC also affirmed the findings of the Punjab and Haryana high court on the same issue.
The verdict — likely to affect many distance education centres which have been offering technical courses through correspondence and distance learning – settles the legal position and gives clarity to thousands of students who often opt for such courses for a variety of reasons.
According to reports, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had two years ago ruled that a degree in ‘computer science’ would not be considered equal to a degree obtained by attending regular classes.
Earlier, the Madras High Court had said that a degree awarded in the distance education mode without a candidate passing the Plus II examination was valid, if it had been obtained after passing the entrance test for admission to the graduation course.
A number institutes in the country which offer engineering courses in distance learning mode include Indira Gandhi National Open University, Annamalai University, Sikkim Manipal University, Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Rajasthan Vidyapeeth University, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Birla Institute of Technology and science and Andhra University.