The University Grants Commission, (UGC India), India’s higher education regulation and coordinating body, has decided to allow 900 additional colleges to offer online degree courses to students. This decision has been taken to provide comprehensive learning opportunity to the students. Also, the decision is in line with the approach to online education through the National Educational Policy, NEP 2020. Through online degree courses, students will be able to obtain degrees remotely.
At present, only universities are allowed to offer distance degrees through online courses, but with this new order from the UGC, around 900 autonomous colleges have scored twice in the erstwhile three rankings of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) in their respective subject category. Ranking in the top 100. National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grade of a minimum of 3.26 is permitted to offer online degree courses.
The colleges do not require prior approval from the UGC but will be required to follow the rules and guidelines issued by the UGC India.
As per reports, students appearing for online degree courses will be required to have passed class 12 and graduation to take admission in UG and PG courses.
National Testing Agency, NTA will evaluate the students through Online Proctored Mode Examination or Computer Based Test, CBT format. Students will need a minimum of 75% attendance in online degree programs, just like traditional degree courses.
Online degree programs will differ significantly from traditional degree programs in many aspects other than the way they learn. Distance courses will be more flexible and have a lot of options. The UGC is expected to share a detailed framework in March 2022.