There are private fashion institutes in Delhi which are affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU), Meghalaya. These institutes are functioning as Study Centres/Regional Centres under the guise of “technical collaboration” with MGU Meghalaya. The degree courses in fashion design and interior design claim to be offered and awarded by MGU Meghalaya and regular classes are conducted at their premises. However, in the original prospectus of MGU Meghalaya there is no mention of such courses and neither is there any mention of career prospects as an interior designer and fashion designer. Nor is there any mention of these courses in the University’s website before February 2013.
Fashionista – The School of Fashion Technology, Ansal Plaza, Khel Gaon Marg, New Delhi, was recently in the news as one of the students had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court. This private fashion institute has a “technical collaboration” since 2011 with MGU Meghalaya and is functioning as a Regional Centre/Study Centre of MGU. According to the news: “The plea sought direction to blacklist Fashionista – The School of Fashion Technology, declare it illegal and take penal action against those managing it as it had got its affiliation illegally.”
Fashionista was earlier functioning as a Learning Centre of Punjab Technical University (PTU).
The University Grants Commission (UGC) had informed MGU Meghalaya vide letter dated 11th April 2011 to adhere on the following:
“No off-campus centre(s) is opened by the University outside the territorial jurisdiction of the State in view of the judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in case of Prof. Yash Pal Vs. State of Chattisgarh.”
“In case the University has already started any off-campus centre outside the State, it must be closed immediately.”
The Distance Education Council (DEC) had informed MGU Meghalaya vide letter dated 8th August 2011 saying, “The territorial jurisdiction for offering programmes through distance mode by your institution shall be the head quarters of the University as per the notification of the UGC and as per DEC norms. The Distance Education Council prohibits franchising of Study Centres. Thus, your Institution will not franchise any Study Centre in any part of the country or abroad.”
According to news reports in 2012, the Meghalaya Government had imposed a restriction on private universities in the State from opening and running off- campus centres. It was informed that private universities which are already running off-campus centres should immediately close their operations. Both UGC and DEC had informed MGU Meghalaya of the Rules and Regulations vide letters dated 11th April 2011 and 8th August 2011 respectively, but MGU Meghalaya appears to have chosen to ignore these Rules and Regulations and was quick to advertise setting up of Regional Centres/Study Centres through franchising by affiliating private institutes under the guise of “technical collaboration”.
According to a recent news report published in the Daily Pioneer, the UGC has been probing the activities of Mahatma Gandhi University (MGU), Meghalaya for the last five months. MGU has opened several study centres across the country by flouting norms laid down by the Centre, State and UGC. According to a HRD Official, MGU Meghalaya has violated all norms and opened study centres beyond its territorial jurisdiction