The Regulatory Authority for Technical Education, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), has published new guidelines to offer various technical courses through distance learning and online education. The programs are graduate, diploma, or certificate programs.
In line with similar guidelines issued by the University Scholarship Commission (UGC) last year, AICTE has also provided institutions with the opportunity to offer courses in management and related fields, computer applications, artificial intelligence, and data science in engineering and technology, logistics and travel and tourism offer. The Board of Directors also approved the inclusion of three times the approved inclusion of a program in conventional or regular modality.
According to the communication from AICTE, the new National Education Policy (NEP) -2020 has focused on increasing the Gross Enrollment Rate (GER) through the use of technology to achieve the objectives of NEP-2020 and promote the ODL and defining online education in a comprehensive way guidelines for these modes. The guidelines, titled “AICTE (Open and Distance Learning Education and Online Education) Guidelines, 2021” allow higher education institutions to offer programs in open and distance learning mode or online. Institutions rated by the National Accreditation and Evaluation Council (NAAC) with 3.26 or more or by the National Accreditation Council (NBA) with 700 points or more can apply. Institutes that have been ranked in the Top 100 of the National Institutional Rating Framework (NIRF) at least twice in the previous three cycles are also eligible. All three categories of institutions can start full ODL courses or online without prior approval from AICTE. According to AICTE guidelines, the institution recognized under these guidelines must have all its programs evaluated once a year by the Internal Quality Assurance Center and undergo a third-party academic audit every five years and an internal academic audit every year.