The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) has expressed its dissatisfaction with the University Grants Commission (UGC) for releasing draft guidelines pertaining to the equivalence and recognition of degrees earned from foreign universities and qualifications from schools affiliated with foreign boards. This responsibility was traditionally carried out by the AIU, making the Commission’s move contentious.
During a special general body meeting, more than 400 university heads convened to discuss the matter. Following the meeting, the AIU sought the intervention of Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and called upon the UGC to reconsider its decision. The AIU emphasized that transferring the responsibility of equivalence could potentially lead to “inaccurate evaluations” and pose challenges for students.
The AIU also pointed out that the UGC’s decision is at odds with both the gazette notification and the AIU’s memorandum of association, along with the provisions outlined in the UGC Act. The unanimous decision reached in the meeting was for the AIU to persist in conducting the equivalence and recognition of degrees on behalf of all universities.
Analogous to institutions such as the World Education Services (WES) in the US and Canada, as well as the UK National Information Centre (UK ENIC) for Europe, the AIU serves as a recognized entity for evaluating and recognizing international qualifications and skills.
In essence, the AIU’s concern centers around the UGC’s alteration of the long-standing responsibility for assessing the equivalence of foreign degrees and qualifications. This move has sparked apprehension within the academic community, prompting a unified stance from the AIU and a call for a reconsideration of the UGC’s decision.
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