New Policy On Distance Learning In Higher Education Sector

In pursuance to the statement of a hundred days agenda of HRD of ministry by Hon’ble Human Resources improvement Minister, a new Coverage on Distance Gaining knowledge of In Better Schooling Quarter became drafted.


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1. In phrases of Entry 66 of Listing 1 of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India, Parliament is equipped to make legal guidelines for the coordination and determination of requirements in establishments for Higher Schooling for research, and medical and technical institutions. Parliament has enacted legal guidelines for discharging this obligation thru the College Presents Fee (UGC) for general Better Schooling, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for Technical Training; and other Statutory bodies for other disciplines. As regards Better Schooling, via the space mode, Indira Gandhi Countrywide Open University (IGNOU) Act, 1985 became enacted with the subsequent two prime goals, amongst others: (a) To offer opportunities for Higher Education to a big segment of population, mainly deprived organizations residing in far flung and rural regions, adults, housewives and operating people; and (b) to encourage Open College and Distance education Forbes Structures with inside higher education sample of the country and to coordinate and decide the requirements in such Structures.


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2. The history of distance Mastering or Schooling through distance mode in India goes manner again while the universities began offering Schooling thru distance mode in the name of Correspondence Courses through their Directorate/School of Correspondence Schooling. In those days, the Guides in humanities and/or in commerce were supplied thru correspondence and taken by those, who, owing to numerous motives, consisting of confined wide variety of seats in normal Guides, employability, problems of getting admission to the institutions of Higher Studying and many others., could not get themselves enrolled inside the traditional `face-to-face’ mode `in-elegance’ programmes.

three. within the latest beyond, the demand for Better Schooling has accelerated surprisingly throughout u . S . A . due to focus approximately the significance of Better education forbs, whereas the gadget of higher thesaurus Schooling couldn’t accommodate this ever growing demand.

four. Below the occasions, a number of establishments consisting of deemed universities, private universities, public (Government) universities or even different institutions, which aren’t empowered to award tiers, have started cashing at the state of affairs through supplying distance Training programmes in a big wide variety of disciplines, ranging from humanities to engineering and management etc., and at extraordinary levels (certificate to Undergraduate and submit graduate ranges). There may be continually a chance that a number of those establishments may also end up `degree generators’ providing sub- well known/terrible first-rate Schooling, therefore eroding the credibility of tiers and different qualifications presented via the distance mode. This requires a much Better diploma of coordination most of the concerned statutory authorities, generally, UGC, AICTE and IGNOU and its authority – the gap Education Council (DEC).

five. Authorities of India had clarified its position in recognize of recognition of levels, earned via the distance mode, for employment Underneath it vide Gazette Notification No. 44 dated 1.three.1995.

6. Despite the dangers referred to in para 4 above, the significance of distance Schooling in offering quality Training and training cannot be left out. Distance Mode of Training has a crucial function for:


(i)supplying possibility of Getting to know to those, who do now not have direct access to head to head coaching, running persons, residence-wives etc.
(ii)providing a possibility to operating professionals to replace their knowledge, enabling them to switch over to new disciplines and professions and improving their qualifications for profession development.
(iii)exploiting the potential of Statistics and Verbal exchange Generation (ICT) in the coaching and Mastering manner; and
(iv)reaching the target of 15% of GER by means of the end of 11th Plan and 20% with the aid of the cease of 12th 5 12 months Plan.

7. So that it will discharge the Constitutional duty of willpower and maintenance of the standards of higher education, through making sure coordination amongst numerous statutory regulatory authorities as additionally to make certain the advertising of open and distance Schooling device in u. S . to meet the aspirations of all pass sections of humans for Better Schooling, the subsequent Coverage in admire of distance Gaining knowledge of is laid down:

(a) With a view to ensure proper coordination in law of standards of Better Training in special disciplines through numerous modes [i.E. Face to face and distance] as also to ensure credibility of tiers/degree and certificate awarded by Indian Universities and different Schooling Institutes, an apex body, namely, Countrywide Fee for Better Training and research shall be hooked up in keeping with the suggestions of Prof. Yash Pal Committee/Countrywide know-how Fee. A status Committee on Open and Distance

Schooling of the stated Fee shall adopt the activity of coordination, determination, and protection of standards of Schooling via the gap mode. Pending establishment of this frame:


(i) Most effective the one’s programs, which do not involve large practical direction paintings, shall be permissible thru the gap mode.

(ii) Universities / establishments shall body ordinances / policies / guidelines, as the case can be, spelling out the outline of the programmes to be supplied through the space mode indicating the wide variety of required credits, List of Publications with assigned credit, studying references in addition to self Studying fabric, hours of take a look at, contact lessons at take a look at centres, assignments, exam and evaluation process, grading and many others.

(iii) DEC of IGNOU shall Best assess the competence of College/institute in respect of carrying out distance Education programs with the aid of a team of experts, whose record will be placed before the Council of DEC for consideration.

(iv) The approval shall be given Only after consideration via Council of DEC and not by Chairperson, DEC. For the reason, the minimal quantity of mandatory conferences of DEC may be prescribed.

(v) AICTE might be directed Beneath phase 20 (1) of AICTE Act 1987 to make sure accreditation of the programs in Laptop Sciences, Facts Era and control purposed to be offered by an institute/College thru the distance mode, with the aid of Countrywide Board of Accreditation (NBA).

(vi) UGC and AICTE could be directed Below section 20 (1) in their respective Acts to border precise policies prescribing standards for diverse programs/Guides, supplied thru the distance mode Below their mandate,

(vii) No College/institute, except the colleges set up by using or Underneath an Act of Parliament/Kingdom Legislature earlier than 1985, shall offer any program via the gap mode, henceforth, without approval from DEC and accreditation with the aid of NBA. But, the colleges/establishments already presenting programmes in Humanities, commerce/Commercial enterprise/Social Sciences/Computer Sciences, and Facts Era and management, can be allowed to continue, difficulty to the circumstance in attaining sparkling approval from DEC and accreditation from NBA within 12 months, failing which they shall need to stop the programme and the whole onus with respect to the educational profession and financial losses of the scholars enrolled with them, shall be on such establishments/universities.

(viii) In mild of the statement of Apex Court, ex-submit-facto approval granted by any authority for distance Education shall not be honored and granted henceforth. But, the colleges mounted via or Underneath an Act of Education programs within the streams of Humanities/commerce/Social Sciences earlier than the yr 1991 shall be excluded from this Coverage.

(ix) the students who have been presented degrees thru distance mode by using the colleges without taking previous approval of DEC and other statutory bodies, will be given one risk, supplied they fulfil the requirement of minimum requirements as prescribed by the UGC, AICTE or every other relevant Statutory Authority via law, to seem in examinations in such papers as determined by way of the College distinct to conduct the exam. If those students qualify in this exam, the University concerned shall difficulty a certificate. The degree at the side of the stated qualifying certificates can be recognized for the cause of employment/promotion Below Central Authorities.

(x) A clarification shall be issued almost about Gazette Notification No. forty-four dated 1.3.1995 that it shall now not be applicable directly to the stages/diplomas presented by means of the universities established with the aid of or Below an Act of Parliament or State Legislature before 1985, in the streams of Humanities/trade and Social Sciences.

(xi) The Policy projects spelled out in succeeding paragraphs shall be similarly relevant to establishments supplying distance Education/proceeding to provide distance Training.

(b) All universities and institutions imparting programs thru the gap mode shall need to have earlier reputation/approval for presenting such programs and accreditation from certain ready authority, mandatorily in recognize of the programs offered by them. The violators of this shall be chargeable for the appropriate penalty as prescribed via law. the universities/establishments offering Training through distance mode and determined involved in cheating of students/human beings by using giving incorrect/false Records or wilfully suppressing the Statistics shall additionally be treated strictly Under the penal provisions of the regulation.

(c) the colleges/institutes shall have their own observe centers for head to head counseling and elimination of difficulties as also to searching for different instructional and administrative assistance. Franchising of distance Education by way of any University, institutions whether or not public or non-public shall not be allowed.

(d ) the colleges /establishments shall Only offer such programs thru distance mode which are on offer on their campuses thru traditional mode. In a case of open universities, they shall necessarily have the specified departments and faculties prior to presenting applicable programs through distance mode.

(e) It would be mandatory for all universities and Training institutions offering distance Education to use Records and Conversation Generation (ICT) in delivery in their programs, control of the scholar and College affairs via an internet portal or every other such platform. The said platform shall continually, display in public domain, the Facts approximately the statutory and other approvals in conjunction with other essential Records about the programs on offer via distance mode, their accreditation and students enrolled, 12 months- wise, and so on. This could be related to a Countrywide database, as and when created, to facilitate the stakeholders to take a view on the popularity of the levels for the purpose of educational pursuit or employment with/Under them.

(f) All universities/Schooling institutions shall make most effective use of e-Getting to know contents for transport/supplying their programs via distance mode. They shall additionally be endorsed/required to adopt e-surveillance Generation for the conduct of easy, honest and transparent examinations.

(g) The point of interest of distance Training shall be to offer the possibility of Education to people at educationally deprived situations consisting of living in faraway and rural areas, adults and not using an or constrained get admission to Training of their preference and so forth.

(h) With the intention to promote flexible and want based Mastering, preference-based credit machine will be promoted and all ODE institutions shall be recommended to adopt this system and evolve a mechanism for popularity and transfer of credit of the Publications efficaciously completed with the aid of college students in face-to-face or distance mode. For the cause, the establishment of a credit score bank can be considered. Similarly, traditional universities, supplying head to head mode programs will be recommended to accept the credits earned by using the students via distance mode. A transfer over from annual to semester gadget shall be vital.

(i) Convergence of the face-to-face mode coaching departments of conventional universities with their distance Education directorates/correspondence direction wings as also with open universities/institutions supplying distance Education will be impressed upon to bridge the gap in distance and traditional face-to-face mode of Schooling.

(j) Reputed Overseas Education providers well-established, recognized and accredited via equipped authority in their country and willing to provide their Schooling programs in India shall be allowed, the problem to the fulfillment of the legal requirement of us of a.

(k) A Countrywide Information and Verbal exchange Technology infrastructure for networking of ODE institutions shall be created Beneath National Venture on Training via Records and Conversation Era.

(l) Efforts would be made to create beneficial surroundings for studies in Open and Distance Schooling (ODE) system by means of putting in place infrastructure like e- libraries, digital facts-base, online journals, maintaining everyday workshops, seminars etc.

(m) education and orientation programs for educators and directors in ODE gadget with awareness on the use of ICT and self-Gaining knowledge of exercise will be advocated.

(n) ODE establishments will be recommended to take care the academic desires of beginners with disabilities and senior residents.

(o) A reliable notification clarifying the difficulty of the popularity of educational qualification, earned thru distance mode, for the motive of employment, will be issued.

(p) A mechanism will be the installation for evaluation of levels of Foreign universities for the cause of instructional pursuit in addition to for employment Under the Valuable Authorities. This can include the evaluation of the credentials of the University concerned as also to test the competence of the diploma holder if wished.

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About the Author: Kathryn J. Riddell