UGC: New regulations make online and distance educational programmes easier to launch

New Delhi: On September 5, the University Grants Commission (UGC) finalized its integrated online and distance learning regulations to provide easier access to students. Under these regulations, the top 100 universities in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) or those with 3.26 or above National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grades will be permitted to provide online courses without prior permission.

Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ tweeted on this:

The decision to relax regulations for launching online programs was announced in the Union Budget 2020 and reiterated in July as part of the measures taken to offer relief during the crisis brought on by COVID-19.

UGC Chairman DP Singh previously told Careers360 that the commission is considering a blended learning option for institutes when they are allowed to reopen post-COVID-19.

“Keeping the changing environment in mind we are revising the regulations, we will allow universities having 3.01 grade in NAAC,” Mr. Singh said.

Institutions with a NAAC grade of 3.26 and above and feature in the top 100 in NIRF’s university rankings will not need separate permission to launch degree courses. The rest will need to seek permission, Mr. Singh added

Under the integrated regulations, more universities will be able to start ODL and Online programs, Mr. Pokhriyal said.

“The integrated regulations are student-centric. Many quality provisions have been made to ensure mobility, equivalence among different modes of education, complaint handling mechanism,” Mr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said on social media.

The minister further added that the integrated distance and online regulations are compliant to budget and Aatma Nirbhar Bharat announcements made by the government.

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