UGC Releases Guidelines for Online, Distance Courses, Registration Ends on October 31

The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Tuesday issued a set of guidelines for students who wish to enrol themselves in programmes offered under Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and online learning mode. The beginning of the academic session has been revised to September. The last date to apply for the ODL or online learning courses will be October 31 at

The four-page notification issued by Prof Rajnish Jain, the Secretary of UGC, lists nine precautions which are needed to be taken by students before their enrollment. Among them, there is a list of programmes included in the notification which are prohibited to be offered under the ODL or online learning mode. It has also been notified that MPhil and PhD programmes in all disciplines through ODL or online learning mode are prohibited.

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Degrees and diplomas offered at UG or PG level through courses under ODL or online learning mode are to be considered equivalent to the corresponding awards offered through conventional mode, the guidelines added.

Students need to ensure the minimum duration, nomenclature and entry-level qualification for their desired programme are strictly as per the UGC notification on the specification of degrees, 2014. Generally, the minimum eligibility for an undergraduate (UG) programme is 10+2 education and for a postgraduate (PG) programme, one is required to have a bachelor’s degree.

The students are advised to check the recognition and entitlement status of HEIs (Higher Educational Institutions) prior to their admission and on a regular basis. Students should also check which the universities and colleges are debarred or put under the ‘no admission category.’

The guidelines stated that students must strictly make sure that the admission, counselling sessions, contact programmes, programme delivery, examinations or any other activity of the HEI should be conducted within its stated (in the notification) territorial jurisdiction.

Franchising arrangements for offering ODL and online learning programmes are also prohibited. Students must ensure that all the programmes, as well as the learning platform, are offered by the HEI only.

Learners will be eligible for mobility from one mode of learning to another within the varsity. An admission taken under a recognised programme will stand recognised till its completion even if the university does not have recognition for further years. In the case of ODL, a learner residing in any part of the country can enrol in any programme offered by an university given that it conducts all activities within its territorial jurisdiction. For online learning, learners from within or outside India can enrol themselves in any programme offered by an HEI.

Students should check all the details on the HEIs’ website. The documents submitted by institute such as application, affidavit, regulatory authority approval and other additional information, have been updated on the UGC website. Students must verify details on the official website as well inform the commission in case of any discrepancy. They must also read the notice board before taking admission, the commission said.

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