Higher Education Institutes are now allowed to offer online Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programmes in the disciplines which they are offering at graduation level in regular mode (of classroom teaching) or in Open and Distance Learning mode.
UGC (Online Courses) Regulations, 2018 has been approved in a recent meeting of University Grants Commission (UGC) officials. Under the Regulation, Higher Educational Institutions can now offer online programmes for the courses approved by the statutory councils and in which at least one batch has been graduated, stated a statement from Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
In a recent notification by UGC, it was clarified that the Degrees, Diplomas or Certificates awarded for programmes conducted by Open and Distance Learning(ODL) institutions, recognised by the commission, should be treated as corresponding degrees of regular institutions.
According to the UGC (Online Courses) Regulations, 2018, online Programmes requiring Practical/ Laboratory Courses as a curricular requirement shall not be permitted.
“The Examinations shall be conducted in proctored mode and in conformity with any norms for such examinations stipulated by the commission,” said the statement from HRD.
According the regulation, the content of online courses shall have minimum four quadrants: video lectures, e- content, self-assessment and discussion forum to clarify doubts.
To offer online courses, it is mandatory for the Higher Educational Institutions to exist for at least five years and to be accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a valid minimum score of 3.26 on a 4-point scale. In addition to that the institute should also be among the top 100 in overall category in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for at least two years in the previous three years.
However, NAAC and NIRF conditions shall not be applicable to existing government Open Universities till NAAC or similar accreditation system or NIRF are made available.
“Overall Regulations provide enabling provisions for maintaining sanctity of admissions, teaching-learning, examination, authenticity of the learner and mandatory disclosure of Programme-wise information such as duration, start & end dates, fee, number of students, name of students with identifier, results, on HEI website/public domain,” said the statement.Aadhaar and Passport shall be used to authenticate the Indian and foreign students respectively for all online interactions including teaching-learning and examinations.