The University Grants Commission (UGC) has relaxed the standards for setting up the Open University by reducing the requirement for developed land from 40-60 acres to 5 acres. In accordance with a gazette notification, the University Grants Commission (Open Universities Suitability for Grants) Rules 1989 will now be called the University Grants Commission (Open Universities Suitability for Grants) (Amendment) Rules 2022 .
“The idea behind this reform is to promote more establishments in distance education and online mode without being limited by the availability of land developed for the establishment. Previously, the minimum land required for such institutions was 40-60 acres, which will be very difficult to obtain in cities and hilly areas. This has now been reduced to 5 acres of developed land,” UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar told PTI.
“Given that students will not be on campus full-time, the commission felt that infrastructure requirements can be relaxed for more universities to start operating and provide education to more students” , he added. In accordance with the standards, UGC shall not declare an open university fit to receive grants from central government, the commission or any other organization receiving funds from the Center unless UGC is satisfied with the standards of infrastructure.
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