University Grant Commission is all set to form a regulation for online degree courses similar to those for Open learning courses. The members of the commission discussed the contour of the regulations in a meeting held on Friday, 29th May 2020. 

Officials familiar with the matter said that the development has come after the Ministry of Human Resource Development asked the country’s top 100 universities to offer such courses amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is likely that an integrated set of regulations for distance and online learning can soon be brought out by the UGC. There is a general agreement that courses that are high on practical content like engineering or others will not be offered through online education. However, courses, where there is the less practical training, are ideal for such teaching. Moreover, subjects like coding can also be taught,” said a senior official

Senior official also cited, “Even with integrated regulations, there may be clauses specifically for online courses.” According to him, the main reason for forming regulations for E-degree courses is to maintain a high quality of education.

Recently, the commission has also decided to relax the norms to allow institutes to offer more courses through Distance Learning mode. With the relaxation, the institutes having accreditation NAAC score of 3.00 or above are now allowed to offer Open and Distance learning (ODL) courses at least for one academic year. Earlier the institutes having benchmark 3.26 NAAC Scores were only allowed to offer the ODL courses.

Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the HRD ministry has been focusing on popularizing the online mode of education.