The UGC had declared that online and distance mode courses would be treated the same as corresponding degrees at UG and PG levels.
The University Grants Commission(UGC) recently made an announcement making it clear that degrees or diplomas awarded via online modes or those from Open and Distance Learning institutions should be treated equally as those from regular institutions. The commission clearly stated that the Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes Regulations 2020 specifies the “Equivalence of qualification acquired through Conventional on Open and Distance Learning and online modes.”
Under this ordinance, it is mentioned that “Degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level in conformity with UGC notification on Specification of Degrees, 2014 and post-graduate diplomas awarded through Open and Distance training mode and/or Online mode by Higher Educational Institutions, recognised by the Commission under these regulations, shall be treated as equivalent to the corresponding awards of the Degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level and post-graduate diplomas offered through conventional mode."
There has been a huge rise in online education and distance learning education after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the globe. This announcement from the UGC will enable students to opt for degrees confidently via online and distance learning modes in the future.
In the notifications that were realised earlier, the UGC had clearly stated that the Open Distance Learning is to be considered as corresponding to degrees from regular institutions. However, there may be some degrees that will require the students to have field or ground level experience to have a better understanding of the offering.
The UGC released these guidelines about two weeks ago so that a clear line can be drawn between the course that can be pursued under ODL and online learning and enable students to understand courses that can't be studied under these modes. The UGC also laid out very important guidelines for students who are looking to take admissions in UG and PG courses.
The UGC also shared a list of programmes that are prohibited by the commission to be pursued under ODL and online mode. These programmes include Engineering, Medical, Physiotherapy, and various other programmes. There are educational institutions that are providing Open Distance Learning (ODL) and online courses without proper authorization. Therefore students should be well aware and informed to enrol on the right courses provided through recognized educational institutions.
Here are the guidelines issued by UGC
-Students should ensure the status of higher educational institutions (HEIs) which includes recognition status and entitlement status
-Students must check which HEIs are debarred for offering ODL or online programmes and have been put under the ‘no admission category’
-Students should thoroughly check the details of the HEIs, their documents, application, and affidavit on the Commission's website. If a student finds any deviation in the details available on the official website of HEIs, they should communicate it to UGC
-UGC notified a list of 17 programmes that are prohibited to be offered under ODL and online mode. These include engineering, medical, physiotherapy, pharmacy, hotel management, horticulture, nursing, law, agriculture, catering technology, aircraft maintenance, visual arts and sports among others
-A student should ensure that the minimum duration, nomenclature and entry-level qualification for ODL and online courses under which enrolment is being made should be strict as per UGC notification
-The minimum qualification for enrolling into the UG programme is a class 12 pass and for the PG programme is a bachelor's degree
-UGC has strictly prohibited universities whether central, state, private or deemed universities to offer its programmes through franchising arrangements for admitting learners and conducting courses through ODL and online mode