In a landmark move, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved graduate, post graduate and diploma programmes online.
The country’s top educational body is set to approve draft regulations for the online delivery of such programmes offered by universities and higher educational institutions from this academic session.
Under the draft UGC (Online Education) Regulations, 2018, any higher education institution will be able to apply to offer such online programmes if they have been in existence for at least five years and are accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, with a minimum score of 3.26 on a 4-point scale to maintain quality. At the same time, they should have been in the top-100 in the overall category in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for at least two years in the previous three years. “However, this will not be applicable to Open Universities till NAAC or similar accreditation system or NIRF are made available for open universities,” the draft regulations add.
The institutions can offer online programmes in those disciplines in which it is already offering the same/similar programmes in regular or open and distance learning. “The delivery of the programme will be through the SWAYAM portal of the government under which online courses are offered,” the draft regulations add.
Once the draft regulations are approved by the Commission, the UGC will start accepting applications for starting these courses by July.
Institutions will be able to offer online degrees in all fields, except engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture and physiotherapy.