Autonomous colleges in India will be able to offer online and distance education programmes from 2022-23 academic session without prior approval from University Grants Commission (UGC). However, the colleges would need to meet certain criteria. With this move, students can now opt for reputed colleges without bothering about cut off marks. In all, 900 autonomous colleges will be able to offer remote courses from July onwards. This means students can learn without attending physical classes while getting a degree from the college of their first choice.
There will be no criteria for admission to these colleges. No cut offs will be required. The only requirement will be to qualify the class twelve board examinations. Similarly to enroll for the post graduate courses, one would have to qualify the undergraduate examinations. The draft for this amendment is currently being prepared and will be available for a critical assessment from the stakeholders by the end of this week.
The new reform will also let these institutions, offering higher education, teach courses in new sectors which may not be possible in the offline or physical mode. Offline degrees will be as flexible as the conventional degrees with respect to NEP 2020. Take the four year undergraduate programme with multiple entry and exit options for example. Mr M Jagadesh, the chairman of ugc said the online, conventional and ODL degrees will be of equal value.
This is being pursued to ensure a fifty percent hike in the gross enrollment ratio by 50 in the coming 13 years in accordance with the NEP 2020 target. It rose from 26.3% in 2018-19 to 27.1% in 2019-20 for students between 18 to 23 years.
“Also, many universities may not have a physical model programme — for instance, in machine learning, data science, artificial intelligence and financial management. But they would like to offer that in the online mode. So, even if you don’t have this degree on the conventional physical campus, you can still offer these programmes online,” Mr Jagadesh Kumar informed.
Currently, universities can offer 120 UG, 229 PG, and two PG diploma programmes. There’s a scarcity of choices because courses taught physically can only be taught in the online mode.
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