The University Grant Commission (UGC) has decided to allow 900 autonomous educational institutions to offer online degrees. Currently, only universities are allowed to offer online remote courses. While no separate authorization is required to conduct such courses, the colleges must ensure that the guidelines and regulations of the UGC are adhered to.
The final step will enable autonomous colleges to be ranked in the top 100 places in their respective subject categories in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) or have a National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grade of at least 3.26 to to offer online training, reported a leading daily newspaper.
The move will take effect from July as the government opens up the online education sector to reach the target of 50 percent gross enrollment rate by 2035 under the proposed 2020 National Education Policy (NEP) reforms.
The drafts for the change to the existing open and distance learning programs and online programs of UGC regulation, 2020 will be finalized and made available for stakeholder feedback by the end of this week. The new draft will include a provision to allow higher education institutions to deliver online courses in emerging fields that may not be possible in offline mode
The online undergraduate programs have no limit as they are eligible for admission and candidates who passed class 12 can get admission. Likewise, the candidates for postgraduate degrees must only pass graduation in the relevant University of Groningen degree programme.
The online courses are designed to provide flexibility, such as multiple entry and exit options during the course. A detailed framework of such flexibility options is expected to be released next month.
Candidates enrolled in the online courses will be evaluated through an online supervised computed bases test (CBT) by National Testing Agency (NTA). As with the in-person degree programs, students must attend a minimum of 75 percent to qualify for the exams.
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