Online degree in non-tech courses

New Delhi: The Centre would soon finalise regulations enabling universities with high National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) scores to offer degree, certificate and diploma courses for non-technical subjects in online mode.

Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar said this to newspersons after the culmination of the 65th Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) meet here.

Only institutions with a NAAC grade of A plus and A plus plus – meaning, a NAAC score of 3.26 or above on a scale of 4 – would be permitted to start these courses, which would essentially be open and distance learning in online mode.

“The UGC will approve their course structure. There will be online lectures, tutorials and also a weekly online discussion forum where professors will answer queries of the enrolled candidates,” Mr. Javadekar said. “There will be an online examination in six months or one year. They will be granted certificates if they pass.”

He said this would open an additional choice for people who want to earn degrees, certificates or diplomas, but cannot enrol for regular courses.

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Insisting that this would not entail a decline in the level of education, he said only institutes with proven credentials would be permitted to run these courses.

An official of the MHRD said there was a possibility that the regulations would separate the existent open and distance learning courses from courses in the online mode. While existent distance learning courses were subject to territorial jurisdictions of the universities concerned, the very nature of online education would mean freeing up these courses from such constraints.

Mr. Javadekar also said that the CABE had resolved to increase Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education from the present 25.2-% to 30-32-% in five years. It was believed that online education would help improve enrolment figures.