From this academic session, higher educational institutes and universities in India are expected to offer online graduate, postgraduate and diploma courses. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved the draft regulations that will enable Indian institutes to offer online degree courses. Several discussions on UGC draft regulations on online courses took place, and finally, UGC gave its green signal for the same.
According to Online Education Regulations of UGC, higher educational institutes with a minimum NAAC score of 3.26 on a 4-point scale are eligible to submit a proposal to UGC for offering online degree courses. However, the applicant institutes must be in existence for at least five years. On the other, the applicant institutes must have featured in the list of top 100 institutes of NIRF (National Institute of Ranking Framework) for at least two years. Institutes, which satisfy the above-mentioned criterion, are eligible to offer online degree courses.
UGC clarified that Open Universities are not eligible to offer online degree courses unless an accreditation system or NIRF comes into existence for such universities.
Universities or higher learning institutes can offer those disciplines in online mode that are already prevalent in the regular courses. SWAYAM, the official portal of the government will act as a platform for the delivery of online courses.
The UGC will start accepting the proposals from universities and higher learning institutes. As per UGC rules, institutes can offer online degree courses in any field except nursing, pharmacy, dental, medicine, engineering, physiotherapy and architecture.