UGC releases guidelines for online distance learning courses, registration closes October 31

The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Tuesday released a set of guidelines for students wishing to enroll in programs offered under the open and distance learning (ODL) and e-learning mode. . The start of the academic session has been revised to September. The deadline to apply for ODL or e-learning courses will be October 31 at ugc.ac.in.

The four-page notification issued by Professor Rajnish Jain, Secretary of UGC, lists nine precautions students should take before enrolment. Among them, there is a list of programs included in the notification that are prohibited from offering under ODL or e-learning mode. It has also been notified that masters and doctoral programs in all disciplines through the ODL or e-learning mode are prohibited.

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Degrees and diplomas offered at UG or PG level through courses under ODL or in e-learning mode should be considered equivalent to the corresponding awards offered in conventional mode, the guidelines added.

Students should ensure that the minimum duration, nomenclature and entry level qualification for the desired program are strictly in accordance with the UGC Notification on Degree Specification, 2014. Generally, the minimum eligibility for a Undergraduate (UG) program is 10+2 education and for a postgraduate (PG) program one must hold a bachelor’s degree.

Students are advised to check the recognition and eligibility status of HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) prior to admission and on a regular basis. Students should also check which universities and colleges are excluded or placed in the “no admission category”.

The guidelines stated that students should strictly ensure that admission, counseling sessions, contact programs, program delivery, examinations or any other HEI activity is conducted within its declared territorial jurisdiction ( in the notification).

Franchise agreements to offer e-learning and EOD programs are also prohibited. Students must ensure that all programs, as well as the learning platform, are offered only by EES.

Learners will be eligible for mobility from one mode of learning to another within the university. An admission taken under a recognized program will remain recognized until its completion even if the university does not have recognition for the following years. In the case of ODL, a learner residing in any part of the country can enroll in any program offered by a university given that it conducts all activities within its territorial jurisdiction. For e-learning, learners from inside or outside India can enroll in any program offered by a HEI.

Students should check all details on the HEI website. The documents submitted by the institute, such as the application, affidavit, regulatory authority approval, and other additional information, have been updated on the UGC website. Students should check the details on the official website and notify the commission if there is any discrepancy. They must also read the notice board before being admitted, the commission said.

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