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UGC Issues Cautionary Notice for Distance and Online Courses

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently issued a public notice defining the key precautions for students who wish to enrol in programmes offered under Open & Distance Learning (ODL) and/or Online Learning (OL) modes.

The notice comes in the wake of the UGC’s notification of the University Grants Commission (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020, along with subsequent amendments.

The notice outlines several key points that students should consider before deciding to enrol for the institutions offering these learning modes.

Students must confirm the recognition status of HEIs for offering ODL and Online education for the intended session of admission.

All information with respect to the recognition status and entitlement of HEIs that will offer programmes in ODL mode and/or online mode is available on the UGC website.

HEIs offering ODL and/or Online programmes must provide comprehensive details on their websites, including application submissions to the UGC, approvals, and additional information.

Prohibited programmes

  • Certain disciplines such as Engineering, Medical, Law, and others are prohibited from being offered under ODL and Online modes.
  • MPhil and PhD programmes in all disciplines through ODL and Online modes are also prohibited.
  • All activities related to admission, counselling sessions, programme delivery, etc, for ODL Programmes must be conducted strictly within the territorial jurisdiction of the HEI.
  • HEIs are prohibited from offering programmes through franchising arrangements for admitting students and conducting courses through ODL and Online modes.
  • Learner Support Centers (LSCs) must be established and managed directly by the HEI.
  • Degrees and diplomas awarded through ODL and/or Online modes by recognized HEIs shall be treated as equivalent to those offered through conventional modes.

Details of HEls debarred from offering ODL and/or Online programmes and placed under the ‘no admission category’ for academic session beginning February, 2024, are as follows:

  1. Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Maharashtra: Debarred/withheld from offering ODL and online programmes in Management studies for February 2024 academic session.
  2. Sri Venkateshwara University, Andhra Pradesh: No admission in ODL programmes for February 2024 academic session.
  3. Periyar University, Tamil Nadu: No admission in ODL Programmes for February 2024 academic session.

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(Source: Education Times)

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