In a major relief to hundreds of Teachers and Masters, the School Education Department today ordered that the B.Ed/M.Ed course degrees of in-service candidates, who have obtained the same through Distance Mode from the Universities of Jammu/ Kashmir/IGNOU or any other UGC recognized university for the course approved by the Distance Education Council (DEC), shall be considered as valid for effecting the promotion.
However, the degrees obtained through Distance Education Mode from off-campuses, which have been established by the State Universities beyond their territorial jurisdiction, shall not be recognized.
The courses in Science subjects, where practicals are part of the curriculum, the concerned university shall certify that the practicals have been conducted from the main campus of the university as envisaged in Clause (VI) of the Government order number 252-HE of 2012, dated 30-05-2012.
The in-service candidates, who have acquired their degrees through Distance Mode prior to the issuance of Jammu and Kashmir Private Colleges (Regulation & Control) Rules, 2005, notified vide SRO-339 of 2005, dated 20-12-2005, shall be treated as valid, provided the universities/institutions from which they have obtained their degrees are recognized as per UGC guidelines and are DEC/AICTE approved.
This Department- specific-Mechanism to check and verify the validity and genuineness of the Distance Mode degrees obtained by the in-service candidates of the School Education Department was formally adopted today with issuance of Government order number 940-Edu of 2017, dated 17-11-2017.
The much awaited order is all set to provide relief to hundreds of in-service Master/ Teachers who have obtained their B.Ed/M.Ed and PG Degrees through Distance Mode from Jammu University/ Kashmir University/IGNOU or other UGC recognized universities, established by an Act of Parliament or the State Legislature and offering the courses approved by Distance Education Council (DEC)/All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) within their territorial jurisdiction.
Pertinent to mention that in the School Education Department, a large number of in-service Master/Teachers used to pursue their B.Ed/M.Ed and PG Degrees through ‘Distance’ mode from different universities for promotion purpose.
Pursuant to Clause XI of the Government order number 252-HE of 2012, dated 30-05-2012, the School Education Department vide Government order number 66-Edu of 2017, dated 16-02-2017, had instituted a mechanism of introduction of written test to assess the quality of degrees acquired through Distance Mode by the in-service candidates (Master/Teachers) for considering their promotion to the next higher level.
The said Government order was later kept in abeyance by the Department vide order number 140-Edu of 2017, dated 23-03-2017, which was , however, challenged before the J&K High Court by the medium of a Writ Petition and the court stayed this order on 16-05-2017.
In view of these developments, stagnation was prevailing in the School Education Department while more than 500 Teachers of Jammu, who had been promoted as Masters in February 2014, were still awaiting their adjustment.
To resolve the issue, pertaining to recognition of degrees obtained through Distance Mode, the Minister for Education Altaf Bukhari chaired a meeting, wherein it was unanimously agreed that the State Government needs to revisit the Clause XI of the order No 252 HE of 2012.
As per Clause XI of the Government order No 252 HE of 2012, dated 30-05-2012, for the purpose of granting promotion to the in-service candidates on the basis of the additional qualifications acquired through distance mode of education after satisfying all procedural requirement and subject to the fulfillment of the principles/conditions laid down, the concerned administrative departments or the authorities competent to place/promote then in the next higher grade, shall put in place a mechanism, as they deem fit, to assess the standards of the degrees so obtained in order to treat them equivalent to the degrees awarded by the universities through regular mode of education.
The matter was referred to the General Administration Department, which returned the same in August 2017 with the observation that the School Education Department may devise a Department-specific Mechanism in this regard and there is no need to revisit Clause (XI) of the order 252 HE of 2012.
Pursuant to the observation of GAD, another high level meeting of the School Education Department was held on October 12 and after threadbare discussion, a Department-specific-Mechanism was devised to assess and verify the degrees obtained by in-service candidates through Distance Mode on the parameters laid down in the Government order No 25-HE of 2012 as well as the UGC guidelines.
The order in this regard says that the in-service candidates, who have obtained degrees through Distance Mode from UGC recognized universities for the courses approved by DEC/AICTE, shall have to produce bonafide certificate in a prescribed form before concerned Director of School Education, who shall verify the degrees in light of the conditions, status of permission and admissibility of leave and thereafter recommend the cases to the Administrative Department for further appropriate action.