Applying for online, distance learning? Check these UGC-issued cautionary guidelines

NEW DELHI : The University grants Commission (UGC) has issued cautionary guidelines for students seeking admission in open and distance learning programmes. The cautionary guidelines includes ensuring of equivalence of qualification with conventional mode, and non-inclusion in list of prohibited courses. 

In a bid to provide a level playing field to the people who have earned their degrees through different modes, UGC on 9 September announced that distance, online learning degrees from recognized institutions will be treated on par with degrees obtained through conventional mode.

“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 learning or Online mode by Higher Educational Institutions, shall be treated as equivalent to the corresponding degrees and post-graduate diploma offered through conventional mode,” UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain said.

Recently, there has been a significant increase in online education and distance learning education after the Covid-19 pandemic. UGC‘s announcement will ensure that people continue to opt for degrees through online and distance learning modes in the future as well.

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 ‘no admission category’

-Students should thoroughly check the details of the HEIs, its documents, application, 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 strictly as per UGC notification

-The minimum qualification for enrolling into the UG programme is 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

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