Graduates from colleges affiliated to the Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) can now breathe a sigh of relief. The government wants the degrees obtained from the university to be recognised, it was revealed at the government’s Meet-the-Press session yesterday.

Hundreds of graduates from the SMU were left stunned after the university reflected its mode of education as ‘distance education’ on graduation certificates beginning from 2016. The RCSC and the election commission don’t recognise distance education degrees.

The Prime Minister on April 13 met with officials from the adult and higher education department, the Bhutan Accreditation Council and the Vice Chancellor of the Royal University, (Dr) Nidup Dorji.

The Prime Minister instructed the officials to come up with a recommendation to address the issue.

The Prime Minister said the issue surrounding the credibility of SMU degrees has affected more than a thousand graduates. “The government is worried about the issue. Some of them have borrowed money to study there,” he said.

During his meeting with the officials from the relevant agencies, the Prime Minister said he expressed that he would like the degrees to be recognised and accepted. “During my meeting with the officials, I expressed my views and provided suggestions and I hope that they will come up with a recommendation,” he said.

The Prime Minister expressed hope that the certificates for those who have already graduated and for those who will be graduating, will be accepted. Some of them, he said, are looking for jobs while others want to contest in future elections.

He said many of the students did not realise the consequences while seeking admissions in the university.

“Those who are already in the civil service need not worry,” he assured. The certificates that have been already accepted will be accepted in the future as well.

The Prime Minister said that the graduates from institutes like the Kalimpong-based BB Pradhan Management College have attended regular classes. Like in most institutes, he said the graduates have met the attendance criterion to sit for their examinations.

MB Subba