Trichy: The question of ‘equivalence’ assumed significance only in the last 10 years in the context of mushrooming ‘job-oriented and innovative’ courses introduced by autonomous colleges and state-run universities. In the process, their attractive ‘nomenclature’ took precedence over their eligibility and purpose. Even warnings from the University Grants Commission were neglected by many educational institutions, say academicians.
“The UGC, in a gazette notification in 2014, said that ‘nomenclatures of degrees that are presently in vogue in some institutions were found to be neither conventional nor reflective of a real innovation in knowledge and are ‘de-specified’ so as to restructure them,” said former president of AUT, K Pandiyan. Tamil Nadu government had issued many government orders on equivalence of various degrees awarded by the universities in the state. Though these GOs were aimed at getting over the bottlenecks that obstruct the process of recruitment, such actions at times have nullified the very purpose of those degrees,” he said.
UGC in 2014 had reiterated its ‘request’ to the universities to award only those degrees specified by it (UGC) and notified in the gazette of India. However, many institutions chose to ignore it. “Graduates with these ‘degrees’, who were disappointed with the non-availability of assured jobs and uncertainty in the private sector were compelled to look for conventional jobs in the government sector with unconventional degrees,” said a senior faculty member from BDU.
Everything seemed to have gone well until most of the candidates got employed in private industries including the IT sector. But when graduates turned towards the government sector for a secure job they encountered the eligibility issue on their degrees. “While many of the universities started giving equivalence certificate to courses unscrupulously, department of higher education in 2012 cautioned the universities to desist from issuing any more ‘equivalence’ certificates and constituted ‘equivalence committee’ at the state level for the purpose of recruitment through Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) and Teachers’ Recruitment Board (TRB),” said Pandiyan.