UGC Approves UGC (Online Courses) Regulations 2018

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In what is being called milestone moment in higher education, the University Grants Commission, approved the UGC (Online Courses) Regulations 2018. The move means that eligible Higher Educational can offer Certificate, Diploma, and Degree programs in online mode.

Institutes can offer course only in those subjects in which they already offer graduation level courses in classroom mode or in open or distance learning mode in which at least one batch has graduated and approved by statutory councils. Those programs which require practical or lab courses are not eligible for online mode education.

Eligibility of Higher Education institutions has been determined by UGC. The criteria include that the institution should have been in existence for at least five years, and they should be accredited by NAAC with a minimum score of 3.26 on a 4-point scale. The institutions should also be in the top 100 in the overall category in the National Institutional Ranking Framework for at least two years in the past 3 years.

Student identities will be verified using Aadhaar cards and Passports. Engagement of students will be monitored via participation in asynchronous/synchronous discussions, assignment activity, and program involvement. Students' participation will be ensured for 2 hours every fortnight.

The regulations are set to be made applicable for the academic session 2018-19. The first mention of this initiative was made in January 2018 during the 65th meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE).

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