Saturday, May 25, 2013

Are you thinking that you got a Symbiosis University degree from SCDL?- Think again about it- you are cheated

Hello friends,

The title of the blog is itself explanatory and tell the whole story. I know, as a working professional, we think that we should get a business degree from a reputed university and after reading newspaper advertisement and google adsense suggested advertisement, we think about SCDL (Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning) programme. We think- it is reputed and we are treated at par with the Symbiosis students but it is not the fact.

SCDL is a big cheating.

How, let me explain it here.

1. SCDL (Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning) is different from Symbiosis International University.

Symbiosis is a very reputed name for its Post Graduate Management Programme and featured in the top ranked institute. Wait, This ranking is only for the full time MBA programme and not for the distance learning programme from SCDL. 
SCDL is neither part of Symbiosis International University nor it is a department of this deemed university.

Please refer SCDL's website. It tell the truth

Can you see the highlighted portion?- It clearly says that it is an autonomous institute and is not part of any university.

2. Methodology of delivering full time MBA programme at Symbiosis Intrnational University is different than of the SCDL (Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning)
SCMHRD (Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resources Development (SCMHRD, part of Symbiosis International University) offer the course on Case study method based (The best way of imparting management education) whereas the assessment methodology of SCDL is based on 1 question and opting an answer from multiple choice. Due to this, people feel it is easy to pass the diploma but they never get the required skills for the job.

3. Symbiosis declared SCMHRD and other department as a part of Symbiosis International University but it does not declare SCDL as a part of Symbiosis International University.
Please see the picture below: I have highlighted the portion.

4. SCDL violates the Distance Education Council and UGC guideline and with nexus to DEC, it has wrongly got the approval

Let us look at what the Distance Education Council's guideline of establishing and operation of Distance and Open Learning Institute says ?

Para 2 (of handbook of 2006):

1.     Institutions that need Approval:

The types of institutions that offer or intend to offer education through distance mode and need approval from the Distance Education Council are as follows:

2.1       State Open Universities
2.2       DEIs in conventional universities established by an Act of Parliament or State Legislature/Deemed to be universities declared by the Central Government under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 and Institutions of National Importance declared under an Act of Parliament

2.3       Other ODL institutions registered as societies/trusts and or privately provided managed institutions/colleges which are affiliated to a university for award of degrees.  Such institutions are required to submit No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the affiliating university for starting distance education at the time of submitting proposal for approval from the DEC.
The big question is that, when SCDL is saying it is not part of any university, then how it got DEC approval?
The guideline can be by searching on google as DEC guideline. SCDL is offering programme prior to 2006, then how did the DEC gave approval?

Suddenly DEC changed the handbook in 2009 and started giving approval to:


The types of institutions that offer or intend to offer education through distance mode need approval from the Distance Education Council are as follows:
·         National/State Open Universities
·         DEIs in conventional universities established by
·         Act of Parliament or
·         State Legislature
·         Deemed to be universities declared by the Central Government under Section 3 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956
·         Institutions of National Importance declared under an Act of Parliament
·         Other ODL institutions of higher learning which are recognized by Central/State Government / statutory councils.

Now, it says that other ODL institutes approved by state/ central government and statutory council i.e. council established by a law like UGC, AICTE, DTE. The fact is that SCDL is not approved by any one of these and do not fall into any of the institute's category mentioned above. in fact, previously, SCDL was giving PG Diploma to somebody who was not graduate- just a diploma holder too.

Other violations
All distance learning institutes/ universities cannot offer distance learning programme anywhere. It has some limitation, let's see:

lets see please read the bold highlighted portion
Distance Education Council
Indira Gandhi National Open University
Maidan Garhi, New Delhi - 110068
Policy on Territorial Jurisdiction --
Offering of programmes through Study centres by Universities/ Institutions
The DEC in its 40th meeting held on 08.06.2012 has decided on the policy of territorial jurisdiction in respect of the open and distance learning
institutions which is stated as under:
 In case of Central Universities, the Territorial Jurisdiction will be as per their Acts and Statutes for offering programmes through distance mode.

 In case of State Universities (both Govt. funded & Private), the Territorial Jurisdiction will be as per their Acts and Statutes but not beyond the boundaries of their respective states.

 In case of Deemed to be Universities, the Territorial Jurisdiction will be as per the notification of Govt. of India to accord them this status until a policy decision is taken by the UGC.

The Territorial Jurisdiction in case of Private Institutions (other than Universities) will be headquarters. In case any such institution desires to offer programmes beyond its headquarters then it should establish its new institutions as per norms.

 The study centres are simply facilitators in programme delivery. No University/ Institution will be allowed to franchise the Study centres; the Universities/ Institutions will have to operate the study centres themselves.

All the ODLIs are hereby directed to adhere to the territorial jurisdiction policy, henceforth.

SCDL offered programme all over India. It is not allowed to offer programme beyond its head quarter i.e. Pune then how is it selling the degree.

5. Why Distance Education Council's approval is required?

Please see the following circular, notice: 


Recognition of Degrees/Diplomas/Certificates for
Employment & Recognition of Distance Education Institutions

In exercise of powers conferred by Clause 4(a) of Statutes 28 read with Section 16 and Section 4 and 5 of IGNOU Act 1985(No. 50 of 1985), passed by the Parliament, the Distance Education Council (DEC) has prescribed the guidelines for determination of standards for the Distance Education systems in the country. It is therefore, necessary for all Centres/Institutions/Directorates imparting education through distance mode to get their Degrees/Diplomas/Certificates (Programmes) recognized and approved by the DEC.
The Dept. of Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Govt. of India notified vide the Notification No. 44 dated 01-03-1995 published on Saturday, April 8th, 1995 in the Gazette of India that:
on the recommendation of the Board of Assessment for Educational Qualification, the Government of India has decided that all the qualifications awarded through Distance Education by the Universities established by an Act of Parliament or State Legislature, Institutions Deemed to be Universities under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956 and Institutions of National Importance declared under an Act of Parliament stand automaticallyrecognized for the purpose of employment to posts and services under the Central Government, provided it has been approved by Distance Education Council, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi – 110068.”
In view of the aforesaid directive of the Government of India, it is mandatory for all the Centres/Institutions/Directorates offering programmes through distance mode to apply to the DEC and obtain prior approval before starting a new Centres/Institution/Directorate or Programme.
It is informed that any degree/diploma/certificate offered through distance mode not recognized by the DEC shall not be accepted for employment in Government Services and the institution offering such programmes would face de-recognition.

Through media and advertisement, it is learnt that certain institutions are offering courses/programmes through distance mode which are not approved by UGC, AICTE and DEC. While the DEC has granted permission to institutions in respect of their capability to deliver the courses/programmes through open and distance learning mode, it was clearly stipulated that for any professional programme which requires the mandatory approval form the statutory authorities like AICTE, UGC, NCTE etc., it is the responsibility of the institution to get such approvals before they start any professional/ technical programme. The provisional approval granted by DEC is not to be construed to be in lieu of the approval required by the institutions from the AICTE in respect of the standards to be maintained for technical education programmes and from the UGC for offering any programme leading to award of a degree which is at variance with the nomenclature of degrees mentioned in the UGC Regulations under section 22 of the UGC Act 1956.
And, whereas, the said provisional approval by the DEC was subject to the concerned institution obtaining the approval from the appropriate statutory authorities such as the AICTE for technical and professional programmes and the UGC for general standards of higher education;
And, further whereas, it is in the public interest and in the interest of maintaining the standards of higher education that such institutions, which have not obtained the approvals of their programmes from concerned statutory authorities are not permitted to enroll students or offer such un-approved professional and technical programmes/courses;
Now, therefore, DEC hereby, notifies that institutions, whose approval is expiring this academic year or intending to offer programmes through distance mode shall not offer any professional and technical programmes of study in the coming academic session 2008-09 and onwards without seeking prior approval from the UGC-AICTE-DEC in terms of the procedure laid down and posted at the website of the UGC (, the AICTE ( and the DEC (

For recognition/extension of recognition, institutions should submit their applications to the DEC, within a month’s time from the date of publication of this notice in the prescribed proforma available on the DEC website: 

Distance Education Council

Have you read yellow highlighted portion? It says that only qualification from universities (central, state or deemed) can be given approval from DEC and only those qualifications are valid for government job. As SCDL has declared it is neither a university nor part of it, for government job too, this qualification is not valid.

6. SCDL is just a diploma mill, its qualifications are neither useful for skill enhancement, career progression including promotions in the private or public sector job nor valid for higher studies in India and abroad.

Yes, this is the naked truth.

I surveyed 140 professionals including HR professionals from industry. Here is answer of few important questions and response:

If you are an HR or HOD or a line manager, do you consider above institute's management diploma for recruitment as preferred qualification?
Are you aware that students pursuing Diploma from SCDL is actually not getting any qualification from Symbiosis International University, it is just the brand they are using?
Do you consider above mentioned institute's qualification for promotion of your existing team member?
Suppose a fresher without prior work experience comes with the qualification "Diploma- management" from institutes like SCDL, Welingkar, IMT-CDL, NMIMS, SMU (All distance learning) etc. will you prefer him over a fresher candidate with equal communication skills and knowledge or competency?
Now since you are aware about how these qualifications are awarded, do you really think it is of worth of doing PG Diplomas/ Diplomas from these institutes, does it really add any value to skill enhancement?
I think this is enough to open your eyes now. 

7. SCDL qualifications are not valid for higher education
To puruse M.Phil or Ph.D you must hold a masters degree in relevant subject and in some universities at least a master's degree with experience. SCDL's are just diploma, not a masters degree hence you are not eligible for pursuing higher education. SCDL has self accepted that. Let me reproduce the mail copy here.

Now let us see reply of SCDL

----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2011 4:54 PM
To: Diploma
Subject: All other diploma related queries.

Reg No : 2007XXXXX

Dear Sir,
is 2 years PG Diploma equivalent to an MBA programme?
Kindly mention reference whether AIU and AICTE has granted it as equivalent status. If not what is the use of this programme

Dear Student,

Please note that, you have enrolled with us for PGDHRM course, PGDHRM is not equivalent to MBA however the course contents are comparable to that of any full time management program.
Please note that, PGDBA (2 years) is also not equivalent to MBA

Visit our web site for regular & latest updates.

Feel free to contact us for any further queries.


Evaluation Department



Now let us see what UGC (the body who regulates universities in India reply on eligibility for NET

Govind... Hoping for better <>
to support
Dear Sir,

Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning offers 2 years PGDBA programme through distance mode and this programme is not affiliated to any university.
Is the student who have completed PGDBA from SCDL eligible for appearing NET?
SCDL is approved by DEC UGC AICTE joint committee. This PGDBA programme is not equivalent to MBA.

Dear Candidates,

You are eligible for appearing in NET only in case you possess post graduate degree or appearing in final year examination of post graduate degree course. Kindly get in touch with the AIU to ascertain whether your course is equivalent to Post Graduate Degree.
AIU House,
16 Comrade Indrajit Gupta Marg (Kotla Marg),
New Delhi -110002
Ph: 91-11-23230059
Fax : 91-11- 23232131

With Regards
UGC NET Support Team

Please see following link for PG Diploma equivalent to MBA by AIU

Now see what IIM Ahmedabad reply for Ph.D eligibility

FPM Officer <>
to me
You are eligible to apply even if you do the graduation in distance mode.

If your PG diploma is recognised by UGC, HRD or AICTE, you can apply.

I contacted Dr. Swati Majumdar, Director of SCDL but she preferred not to reply directly despite of my several reminders

Govind... Hoping for better <>
to directorskgandheregistrar
Kind attention  Ms. Swati Mujumdar /  Dr. S. K. Gandhe  /  Mr. Namdeo Kumbhar

I am an HR professional and also a freelancer volunteer career counsellor as well as educationist (with special interest in ODL)

I am coming across several question through students about SCDL programme and putting the same before you for ultimate clarity. This will clear the picture.

As far as I know, SCDL offers following courses through distance learning mode

Post Graduate Diploma In Business Administration (PGDBA) (Specialization: Marketing/Finance/HR/Operations/CRM)
Post Graduate Diploma In International Business (PGDIB)
Post Graduate Diploma in Banking & Finance (PGDBF)
  • Post Graduate Diploma In Information Technology (PGDIT)
  • Post Graduate Diploma In Educational Administration (PGDEA)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Business & Corporate Law (PGDBCL)

Regarding this, I have following queries (so many people in the industry as well as the students), So I request you to provide clarity on this.

1. Please provide clarity on SCDL. Is it a department of Symbiosis International University like IDE of University of Mumbai , University of Madras etc.?

2. Is the curriculum for above mentioned programme is exactly same of the 2 years full time management programme offered by Symbiosis International University?

3. Is the exam, evaluation and methodology of knowledge imparting at SCDL is as same as Symbiosis International University or any of its arms offering full time courses?

4. Are these programme equivalent to MBA or 2 years post graduate programme in management like Master of Marketing Management etc.?

5. Are students eligible to appear for NET (UGC National Eligibility Test), SET (State Eligibility Test) ?

6. What is the stand on qualifications students received from SCDL- is it from Symbiosis International University or it has nothing to do with Symbiosis International University?

7. Is qualification received from SCDL holds equal value to 2 years full time management programme from Symbiosis International University or any of its institutes?

8. Has AICTE or Association of Indian University granted equivalence to PG Diploma programme of SCDL of an MBA programme?

9. Are students eligible to pursue Ph.D from Symbiosis international university (Even if they are fresher and do not have any experience but scored above 65% in graduation and SCDL PG Diploma programme ) after completing 2 years programme from SCDL? Are they eligible to pursue Ph.D from any institutes in India or abroad where minimum requirement is 55% in Post Graduate degree in management programme?

We all (students, corporate, I) will be highly appreciate your response at earliest and a clarity on this matter.


Her reply:

director <>
to meRegistrar
Dear  Sir,

You may refer our website for all information.


Dr. Swati Mujumdar
Principal Director, Symbiosis Open Education Society (SOES), Pune, India
Director, Symbiosis Center For Distance Learning
*Pune       *Nasik       *Bangalore       *Delhi

I think this is enough to open everybody's eye. DEC must answer how they can play with students life. Many students reported their plight to me how they are not eligible for higher studies and one of my friend just now re-enrolled for masters programme as SCDL ruined her life.

Further, see the guideline on management education through distance mode by DEC
Who can pursue Management courses through distance mode? DEC guideline

The minimum entry qualification to the Post-Graduate Programme in Management  is that a candidate should be a graduate in any discipline recognised by the Association of Indian Universities and should be employed at managerial/supervisory positions. A post qualification experience of 2 years at the managerial/supervisory level may be considered desirable.

The students of Post Graduate Programme  be admitted through entrance test. The written test should assess:
" Reasoning ability
" Comprehension and vocabularies
" General knowledge and
" Quantitative abilities
to check preparedness of a student to undertake management studies. In addition to the above, it could also examine the students capability to learn through Distance Mode. The short listing of candidates may be done according to merit prepared on the basis of total profile which may include :

" performance in written test
" work experience
" previous academic records
" performance in group discussion and interview.

Written test should have at least 75% weightage in overall admission procedure. Where admission is not done on the basis of an All India entrance test, it would be desirable that candidate possesses minimum 50% marks in qualifying examination (Bachelor Degree).
Considering the learning experience to be provided to the students, the duration of MBA level Programme in Management should be minimum 3 years.

The intake of students to MBA Programme in a single year should be decided according to the infrastructure available with the Institutes, number of study centres, human resource available, audio/video support and library facilities etc. However, for the new institutions the number of the students intake should be kept to the minimum of 500 in the initial stage.

Now let us see how Sikkim Manipal University as well as many other universities are violating this and making money. 
Violation #1
From year 1 onwards only, it admitted more than 500 students

Violation #2
All students admitted without an entrance examination

Violation #3
It admitted fresher without any experience. It just supplied with useless paper degree from a useless university. 

I do not understand, what is the problem to grant Diploma from Symbiosis International University, why SCDL kept separate from Symbiosis International University?
The whole reason is money. Through distance learning they use huge money and with this they do not want to bring down reputation of its Symbiosis International University by mixing it with the distance learning division. Thats why its director did not openly admit about all the blunder and tactics to trap people. 

Please note: I have not done any course from SCDL or never intend do so. I do not have any grudge against them either. I am observing this for several year and for larger interest of the education, people and to stop commercialisation of the education, I am publishing this.

Whatever apply to SCDL, same apply to distance learning programme of IMT CDL, Welingkar, Balaji and such other institute. However I am neutral on quality of knowledge imparted in IMT CDL.

All queries are welcome. 


  1. As you've discussed above about scdl, I'd like to know whether the same applies IGNOU (Distance learning programmes. Whether the degree(master's) in PGP(distance) from IGNOU is valid for higher education like PhD or not?

    1. Ihi being a central university, IGNOU's degree are fully valid.please read my following blogpost for entire detailed info

  2. Dear Govind,

    Do throw some light on Karnataka State Open University as well. If I pursue MBA through Distance Mode, will I be eligible for Govt/PSU Jobs? In future if i want to opt for Phd (just to get the Phd tag not for teaching)will it be valid.

    consider this notification as well

    1. Hi,
      KSOU involved in big degree racket and so in lot of controversy.
      You may refer following link

      If you pursue MBA from KSOU from its own regional centre (not through study centre ) and within Karnataka, then it is valid

      No, SMU degree is completely invalid as of now and the court case is going against it
      please refer

  3. Since last few days I was referring many sites and was trying to have as much information as I can because I was planning to register for PGDBA Course in SCDL for which deadline is Dt. 14/3/2013. After going through this detailed survey I came to know what is the fact

    please advise genuine and valid institute for doing MBA through distance learning mode

    1. Hi,
      There are multiple options
      you may opt
      1. PArt time MBA from top institutes like FMS Delhi, JBIMS Mumbai
      2. Distance MBA from Pondicherry University (has exam centre all over India and in every major city)
      3. University of Madras, executive distance MBA

  4. hi!
    I have committed the mistake of doing PGDBA from scdl.kindly tell me if I can take UGC NET or not?Am I eligible or no?

    1. Hi,
      Please note NET/ SET is prerequisite for teaching post and as per AICTE and UGC to qualify as a lecturer you must have masters degree or equivalent degree from AIU to be eligible.
      SCDL is just a diploma it is not a degree and it is not equivalent to a masters degree hence you are not eligible.

  5. How about doing distance MBA from "Sikkim Manipal University"

  6. Hi,
    I've completed B.Com which is a course of 3 years. But later I got to know that the college was not affiliated to any university and the marks cards are not genuine. I have 1 year experience as a supervisor and want to pursue MBA in IGNOU. Is this possible? Plz help......

    1. Hi,
      A degree must be from a university- either central, state or deemed otherwise the degree does not have any validity for higher education as well as public sector job.

  7. Hello Mr. Govind!! I wish to know about the MBA from ICFAI, Tripura. Is it a valid one like IGNOU for govt job and ph.d in future? please reply

  8. Can u please suggest any valid university for MBA except IGNOU? please, It's quite urgent...

    1. I think Keerti has already replied. However, you may look into following options too
      1. University of Madras
      2. Bharati Vidyapeeth
      3. Annamalai University
      4. Kurukshetra University
      5. Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam
      6. Avharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, AP
      7. GITAM University

      However, you should check their territorial jurisdiction before applying (within the state only) if you want to apply for higher education in India or abroad or want to opt public sector job. Pondicherry University has jurisdiction all over India

  9. Sir,

    I have done MBA(HR) from SMU. I was enrolled in Feb, 2012 when there was DEC approval. Also, on SMU site I could find court stay order reference. I think legally they are continuing with earlier DEC approval, OR bcos they have UGC approval, need not take DEC further. Pl clarify. Regards. Priya

    1. Hi,
      Although SMU had approval from DEC a that time, being a private university, it could not offer any course outside its campus in sikkim and UGC has already served the notice. Its recognition also withdrawn for distance learning programme.
      Any degree obtained upto 2012 but by attending exams at its campus in Sikkim only stands recognized.

  10. sir i have enroll PGDBA from symbosis dis year only, is it valid diploma from ucg?? please help me out from this.

    1. No. I have clarified in the blog post clearly.This diploma is not from any university, its through SCDL and it does not have any academic as well as corporate value

  11. Sir,
    I have gone through all your replies and suggestions, its really useful to us. I wish to study PGDBF (2 years) through distance education but I am confuse which university i have to choose. Please suggest me some reputed university for PGDBF course in India. Hope for the positive response asap..

  12. hello sir
    please have a look on this link

    it is a scanned copy of recognition from UGC DEB to SCDL.. what does this mean.. i have done PGDBA in am i eligible for NET as scdl has a recognition letter from UGC DEB

    1. This means that they have DEB approval to run the course but their programme is just a diploma, not an MBA
      You are not eligible. To be eligible for NET, your degree should be either masters or equivalent

  13. Dear Govind,

    Is their addition of any other Universities offering MBA degrees from Distance Learning apart from the one mentioned in your ealier post.

    1. University of Madras
    2. Bharati Vidyapeeth
    3. Annamalai University
    4. Kurukshetra University
    5. Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam
    6. Avharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, AP
    7. GITAM University

    Are the degrees from above Universities approved by Ministry of HRD and are accepted by Foreign Countries?

    1. University of Madras does not have DEB approval as of now and if you are not looking for government job as an option, still you may opt it

      Bharati Vidyapeeth is good option
      Annamalai: course contents are really not good
      Kurukshetra- a good option
      Andhra- a good option
      Acharya Nagarjun, could be a good option
      Gitam: Do not opt

      It depends on respective country whether to accept or not accept the degree, MHRD approves those degree for attestation. If you are from AP, prefer home state university only

  14. Respected Sir,
    I have already pursued my PGDBA from SCDL and I do agree with your observations.
    I want to make my career in Academics. I have scored 53% in M Com. Please guide me as to how do I go about for NET exam.
    Also guide me for my PH D external programme, please suggest me universities which would give me admission on the basis of M Com score.

    1. If you are from open category you cannot apply for NET unless you have 55% in your PG you can re appearfor exam for mark improvement or else need to pursue pg again. If You plan to teach in a B school, best pursue a full time MBA or at least a part time

    2. If you are from open category you cannot apply for NET unless you have 55% in your PG you can re appearfor exam for mark improvement or else need to pursue pg again. If You plan to teach in a B school, best pursue a full time MBA or at least a part time

  15. Hi Sir,
    I am working professional and want to go for higher study as a part time. Later my plan is for Phd as well. What are the good university I should go for. Is IGNOU is good enough or there any more better options recognised all over India

    1. IGNOU is good if you are not looking for private jobs for part time, there are many options in Mumbai, for Delhi check FMS Delhi

  16. Sir ,

    I intend to apply to Pgd HRM programme for SCDl. I need to apply for CENTRAL govt exam where they have mentioned minimum qualification as Diploma in PERSONAL MANAGEMNT ( they are not asking for MBA ). I want to know if the PGDHRM programme of Symbiosis serves the puropose.

    1. Why do you want to do it from a private institute when you have option to do it from a university? I suggest you should opt IGNOU, Pondicherry University, University of Hyderabad and other state universities instead

  17. Sir, i have checked pondy univ , however the problem is with their result date , as they publish thier result only by end of august.However i need to get my results as eary as possible( april-may).For this reason i was choosing SCDL as they say i will get the result in the next month itslf after exam. However iam still confused if the diploma is enuf to apply fr the central govt job . Could u please clarify on the same

  18. Greetings of the day!

    I am planning to opt for PFDHRM Course from SCDL. I have a master degree from IGNOU but since i want to make my career in HRD in Corporate , Hence doing the Diploma course. Kindly advise!! Its important for me to know which university would be the best to do HRM from distance learning.

    Pragya Joshi

  19. Hello,

    I am planning to do PGDM / MBA course in HR. I am outside India and looking for a course where travel is not required and complete the course from here.I would like to know which is the best university/institute to do the 2 year program. As per my enquiries I have found out that SCDL , Welingkar's and Amity are offering programs to do the course online. Kindly suggest me.


Thanks for your comment on Please search for required information through tags, keywords on this blog as I have already added lot of required information. If you still do not find it, I'll revert you shortly.

Interested for our works and services?
Get more of our update !