According to a circular released on Friday, February 23, University Grants Commission (UGC) deemed degrees, certificates and diploma awarded through distance mode at par with the courses offered through correspondence after completing full-time education at colleges.
There is no other UGC recognised institution in Goa that offers distance education in the state. Therefore, the news that IGNOU will now grant authorized degrees at par with the regular courses has been a welcome news for the students. IGNOU Goa is located in Porvorim and was established through an Act passed by the parliament.
Students will now be allowed to apply for postgraduate programmes after pursuing distance courses from IGNOU as the degrees will not be considered equivalent to degrees awarded after full-time programmes.
The UGC circular added that the open and distance education system in India is essential in order to achieve the gross enrolment ratio target and expanding the reach of higher education without compromising the quality.
It also added that if the distance education degrees are not recognized by the employers then students will not be able to trust open/ distance education. It will beat the purpose of higher education, the circular mentioned.
However, according to the UGC (open and distance learning) regulations 2017, universities offering distance courses cannot offer engineering, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, architecture, nursing, physiotherapy as these courses require practical training that cannot be imparted in distance mode.
All the other programmes offered by distance education universities recognised by DEC/UGC, will be offered by IGNOU Goa.