Distance education and the choices associated with it can be intimidating at times. Once you have finalized a career path and a preferred course, selecting the university is a big hurdle. There exists a large number of colleges, which means an abundance of choices. You need to research a good deal about the university, the faculty, the course structure, and the infrastructure. The biggest question, however, is the recognition of the university. Every college must have permission and rights to grant degrees. This permission is given by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The university you are opting for must be recognized by UGC. Without that, your degree and certificate are of little or no value.
One of the most notable names in distance education is indeed Sikkim Manipal University. The university was established in the year 1992. It was formerly known as the Sikkim Manipal University of Health, Medical and Technological Sciences. However, the distance learning program started in the year 2001. Ever since then, almost 5 lakh students have benefited from their program.
COURSES OFFERED: –
Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) offers several distance learning courses. These are in the field of business administration, management, and information technology. The courses offered are MBA, BBA, MCA, BCA, M.Sc. (IT) and B.Sc. (IT).
GRANTS AND RECOGNITION
Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) is associated with the Government of Sikkim. Under the State Legislative Act (Act IX of 1995), SMU is authorized as a university. It has recognition from UGC as per section 2(f) of the UGC Act, 1956. SMU is a member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). It is a leading organization to cater to the needs of distance education. ICDE also has recognition from UNESCO. SMU is also a part of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU). It is also recognized as the best distance education institute in India by several bodies. These include Careers 360, ASSOCHAM, and Silicon India. SMU’s distance learning also has received several awards at various award ceremonies. The goal of SMU is to provide the very best of facilities to their students.
Despite all these recognitions and awards, one thing cannot be denied. That is the legal troubles SMU had to face in the recent past. In the year 2012 Distance Education Council (DEC) came down heavily on SMU DE. The DEC is a body under the IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University). It ruled out the legal right of SMU to offer distance education. They declared it was illegal to provide distance education outside the state’s geographical boundaries. This would mean that the degree certificates would be null and void. It led to a huge hue and cry among the students. Their entire future and career were at stake. Then the matter was referred to at the Sikkim High Court. The court decided to give SMU a stay order, and thus they continued to offer distance education. This decision came out in the year 2015. Therefore, the period between 2012-2015 was very dubious of SMU and the distance education student. Ever since students have become extra cautious to prevent any such thing from repeating.
At present, all courses at SMU DE are recognized by UGC and Distance Education Board (DEB). SMU has been granted permission to continue taking admissions for Open and Distance Learning programs by UGC. This was notified to them by a detailed contract that can be read if you visit the SMU’s website. The document states the guidelines that the university must abide by to continue its distance learning programs.