UGC issued a checklist for students to follow before enrolling in online distance learning programs

UGC has released a checklist for students to follow before enrolling themselves in open and distance learning (ODL) programs. Adherence to the duration of the academic session, prohibition of franchising agreement and ensuring all activities are within territorial jurisdiction are on the checklist. 

UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain said in the notice listing the precautions need to be taken by students before enrolling in ODL program, “Please ensure that the minimum duration, nomenclature and qualification for degree program under which they are enrolling is strictly as per UGC notification on specification of degrees and its amendments.” 

“Also ensure that all activities of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) including admission, counselling sessions, contact programs, program delivery and examinations are strictly conducted within the territorial jurisdiction,” he added.

According to UGC norms, no university whether central, state, private or deemed to be university can offer its programs through franchising agreements with private coaching institutions for admitting learners and conducting courses through open and distance learning and online mode. 

UGC Secretary also said that students should ensure that the admission process is carried out through headquarters of the HEIs in a transparent manner. They should also verify all details as claimed by the institution on the website. If any deviation is noticed, they should communicate the same with UGC for necessary action to be taken as per provisions defined under respective regulations.

The notice also mentioned that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has decided that the revised academic session for this year as decided by the commission for ODL programs shall be kept as a period of 12 months starting from September-October, 2020 and February-March, 2021.

The students have also been advised to refrain from taking admissions against taking admission in programs like engineering, medicine, law, dental, pharmacy, nursing, hotel management, etc  which are prohibited in distance learning mode.