Universities may soon offer online courses, UGC invites comments on draft rules

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has solicited suggestions and feedback from various stakeholders on the draft amendments to Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and Online Programs. The step has been taken to ensure a transparent and participatory approach in order to have a simple ODL and online program framework.

Stakeholders can give their comments no later than March 15 on the official website of the Office of Distance Education – deb.ugc.ac.in. According to the UGC, the new amendments and the approach of moving forward by bringing together all stakeholders are aimed at ensuring a quality education system.

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The new draft amendments made by UGC made the National Assessment Accreditation Council (NAAC) and National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) assessment scores valid for the next three academic years. The ratings were only valid until 2020-21 earlier.

According to the plan, the commission will review the grades after three academic years. The rankings are valid for the 2021-2022, 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 sessions. The next examination by the committee will be during the 2024-2025 academic session which will start from July 2024 and beyond.

The public notice issued by the commission on February 28 reads: “Bearing in mind the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 recommendation to have a Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) of 50% of 2035 and to further promote ODL and online education, UGC has formed an expert committee to review the existing ODL and online regulatory framework while ensuring quality, through a system and processes of simplified recognition.

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The notice further states that the committee accepted the report and drafted amendments which are now open for stakeholder comment. To provide comments, stakeholders can click on the link “Search for comments/suggestions on draft amendments”. After which, a web page will open where the person has to fill in their details. They can then provide feedback on the project.

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