Pearl Academy responds to UGC’s notice; says we’re not closing all centres

pearl academy shut down

After UGC issued a notice to Pearly Academy to shut down it’s centres, the Academy has responded and said that we’re not closing down.

In talks with HT, Pearl Academy said “The academy had received a notice on the 23rd of May (attached) enquiring about the relationship with NTU . We had replied… This notice does not in any way talk about the closure of all our centres.”

University Grants Commission has ordered Pearl Fashion Academy to shut down all its operations in its centres across the country. Pearl Fashion Academy is a Delhi based fashion and management institute. The academy has its centres in Noida, Jaipur and Mumbai.Apparently, it is illegal in India for private institutes to tie up with any foreign university and offer various degree programs.

Apparently, it is illegal in India for private institutes to tie up with any foreign university and offer various degree programs. Pearl Fashion Academy has been doing that for quite a while now. It had tied up with Britain-based Nottingham Trent University (NTU), following which UGC has ordered the institute to close all its operations.

Sharad Mehra, CEO of Pearl Fashion Academy has denied doing anything which breaks the rules of the UGC. According to UGC, Pearl Fashion Academy is an institute and not a university. And going by the rules, an institute cannot offer degree, it can only be done by a university. For a foreign university to collaborate with an Indian institute, prior approval is required and the institute has not taken any permission from the UGC.UGC said, “ Pearl Academy is not authorized to grant any degree either in a standalone mode or in collaboration with any foreign university. It has become a matter of grave concern as many students are becoming victims of the fraudulent act of the institution.” Also, as per the laws that govern India’s higher education system 1956, Pearl is not a university. It has barred the Pearl Academy for enrolling students for the upcoming sessions.

UGC said in a notice, “Pearl Academy is not authorized to grant any degree either in a standalone mode or in collaboration with any foreign university. It has become a matter of grave concern as many students are becoming victims of the fraudulent act of the institution.” Also, as per the laws that govern India’s higher education system 1956, Pearl is not a university. It has barred the Pearl Academy for enrolling students for the upcoming sessions.

The institute has replied that the collaboration is in place since the year 1995 and at four of its branches, around 4,100 students are studying currently. But it seems, that UGC is not happy with the reply and after further enquiry, UGC has asked them to close their centres.

Sharad Mehra said “This report is erroneous and misleading. I would like to reassure you that Pearl Academy has not received any notice of closure from any regulatory body in India. All formal degrees are validated by NTU and are recognized internationally. We have never claimed that these degrees are validated by UGC or any other Indian University.”

Last year, a similar issue arose where a collaboration between Mewar University and Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) was said to be illegal. At that time also, around 4,000 students did suffer and still they are fighting for their rights.

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