Degrees awarded by institutions in PoK not valid in India: UGC

Degrees awarded by institutions in PoK not valid in India: UGCDegrees awarded by institutions in PoK not valid in India: UGC
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A communication from the University Grants Commission (UGC) in regard to admission of students from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has put the universities in two Telugu States in quandary.

Hyderabad: A communication from the University Grants Commission (UGC) in regard to admission of students from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has put the universities in two Telugu States in quandary.

According to the sources, the UGC had recently notified a policy decision taken by the MHRD that all the educational institutions falling under Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) are not recognised institutions in India.

This includes the educational institutions in the "so-called" Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, it pointed out. Accordingly, the UGC advised students not to take admissions in any of the institutions in the PoK. However, some of the universities from the Telugu States are receiving inquiries from students of the institutions in the PoK and Azad Jammu and Kashmir for admissions under the category of SAARC countries. However, the universities are unable to respond as there is no clarity.

Speaking to The Hans India, senior UGC official clarified as per the policy communicated to the commission, the educational institutions running in the PoK were not established by the Government of India.

Besides, the certificates and degrees awarded by any of the institutions there were not recognized by the UGC, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Medical Council of India (MCI) and other regulatory authorities. It was against this backdrop the Central, State, private, deemed universities, including the category-I universities, cannot provide admissions to the students from these places on the basis of any certificates, diplomas, degrees awarded by the institutions located in the PoK.

Similarly, the universities which are allowed to recruit foreign faculty also should verify before making any efforts in that direction," he added. When contacted, Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE) Chairman Prof T Papi Reddy said that the admissions are being made following proper procedure. As far as the TSCHE is concerned, the universities are free to admit international students, he said.

Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University, Prof S Ramachandram said it is the university's international students admissions office which would take care of such admissions basing on a valid student visa issued to the applicants.

The whole issue has reportedly cropped up following a letter from the UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain, which is an advisory in nature to the students against taking admissions in any of the institutions in PoK. But the letter also made it clear that the certificates, diplomas and degrees awarded in those places have no validity or recognition in India.

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