Universities must have UGC approval before they can offer open, distance learning courses.

One of India's national ranking councils is UGC. Various Universities and colleges are approved by a separate body based on the standard of instruction and facilities offered to applicants. The primary accreditation a university requires is from the University Grants Commission. Inquiring as to why? Read the article aloud.


What is UGC? (University Grants Commission)

The UGC is the only grant-making body in the nation with the dual duties of funding higher education institutions and coordinating, establishing, and upholding standards. This gives it a special place in the world.

The following is part of the UGC's mandate:

  • promotion and coordination of higher education.
  • establishing and upholding academic standards for learning, assessment, and research.
  • establishing guidelines for fundamental educational requirements.
  • Providing funding to colleges and universities; keeping track of changes in collegiate and university education.
  • acting as an essential conduit between the federal government, state governments, and institutions of higher learning.
  • recommending improvements to the federal and state governments on how to improve university education.

Why is UGC approval required if a university is offering distance learning?

The UGC's (Credit Framework for Online Learning Courses via SWAYAM) Regulations, 2016, state that students will be eligible to enrol in up to 20% of the total courses offered in a specific programme in a semester via online learning courses or massive open online courses under the new rules.

Read Also- Online Education: Guide for Flexible & Convenient Learning Options

A senior UGC official added, "Under this mode, students will be able to select from a choice of online courses offered by universities and institutions across the country, and credit would be transferred to them.

Now, in order to maintain operations, all institutions of higher education that provide open and distance learning programmes must apply for new commission clearance.

Several universities, including Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia, and Kurukshetra University, may be impacted by the action.

With the exception of engineering, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, physiotherapy, and programmes that are not permitted to be offered in a distance learning format by any other regulatory body, the regulations will apply to universities that offer distance learning as a mode of instruction for all undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

Are Universities Offering Distance and Open Education Reliable?

Universities may offer courses in the Open and Distance Learning mode with the Commission's approval if they adhere to all of the guidelines set forth in the rules, regardless of the name by which they are known, pertaining to the Open and Distance Learning mode informed by the UGC periodically, the commission stated.

Revisions to the current regulations were accepted at the commission's 562nd meeting on October 28. On November 18, they were published in the Indian Gazette.

Universities that offered open and distance education without prior authorisation are no longer valid as a result of this legislation. Universities that have received UGC and other ranking council accreditations are regarded as legitimate.


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