many of the students and their parents unable to decide whether to join these interdisciplinary courses or not.
While the higher education department declared many of the degrees awarded by state universities ‘not equivalent’ to similar degrees, the higher education secretary has clarified the status matters only when it comes to Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) notified jobs.
Higher education secretary Mangat Ram Sharma said that non-equivalence is only for state government jobs particularly notified by TNPSC. “These courses will certainly remain relevant in the market for its content. We only say that this course doesn’t suit the requirement of TNPSC and it is limited to only the extent of TNPSC,” he said. “We have asked institutions to approach equivalence committee whenever they start a new course to check for the equivalence with the conventional courses.
Besides, students should be informed by the institutions about the equivalence status of an innovative course with that of the conventional when they come for admission. So that students are not put into trouble,” he said. He said most courses deemed non-equivalent to the conventional courses are post graduate courses.
However, academicians urge the state to consider revising the eligibility conditions for employment in public services by including more number of interdisciplinary degrees awarded by its state universities. “The crux of the problem is an ‘eligible degree’ for a particular post need not necessarily be an ‘equivalent degree,” said K Pandiyan, former president of Association of University Teachers (AUT). The degrees with different nomenclatures must be independently verified with the course content and to explore whether they meet the required eligibility criteria for that post, he said.
“Because of these two non-equivalence GOs issued during the admission session, it becomes a serious issue that many students and their parents are panicking, unable to decide on whether to join these interdisciplinary courses or not. So, the recent GOs on equivalence of degrees of state must be considered on a long-term perspective rather than issuing them based on need as it is the case now,” said a senior faculty from Bharathidasan University.