Applying for online, distance learning? Check these UGC-issued cautionary guidelines

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New Delhi : The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued precautionary guidelines for students seeking admission to open and distance education programmes. Precautionary guidelines include ensuring equivalence of qualifications with conventional methods and not including in the list of prohibited courses.

To provide a level playing field to those who have earned their degrees through various modes, the UGC announced on September 9 that distance, online education degrees from recognized institutions will be treated at par with degrees obtained through conventional modes.

“Specification of Degrees at Undergraduate and Postgraduate Level, as per UGC Notification, 2014 and, Postgraduate Diplomas awarded by Higher Education Institutions through Open and Distance Learning or Online Mode shall be treated as equivalent to the respective degrees and post. Graduate Diplomas awarded through conventional mode. Either,” said UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain.

Recently, there has been a significant increase in online education and distance education following the Covid-19 pandemic. UGC’s announcement will ensure that people can continue to pursue degrees through online and distance learning modes in future as well.

Here are the guidelines issued by UGC

-Students need to confirm the status of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) including accreditation status and entitlement status

-Students must check which HEIs are prohibited from offering ODL or online programs and placed under the ‘No Admission Category’

-Students should thoroughly check the details of HEI, its documents, application, affidavit on Commission website. If a student finds any deviation in the details available on the official website of the HEI, they should inform the UGC.

-UGC has given a list of 17 programs which are prohibited to be offered under ODL and online mode These include engineering, medical, physiotherapy, pharmacy, hotel management, horticulture, nursing, law, agriculture, catering technology, aircraft maintenance, visual arts and sports.

-A student should ensure that minimum duration, nomenclature and entry-level eligibility for ODL and online courses should be strictly as per UGC notification.

-Minimum qualification for admission in UG program is 12th pass and graduation degree for PG program

The UGC has strictly prohibited Central, State, Private or Deemed Universities from offering its programs through franchising arrangements for admission to students and conducting courses through ODL and online mode.

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