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May 29, 2018 Tuesday 02:39:22 PM IST

Institutions Can Now Offer Online Courses

Policy Indications

New Delhi:  The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved Online Courses Regulations. Higher Educational Institutions can now offer Certificate, Diploma and Degree Programmes in full-fledged online mode in those disciplines in which it has already been offering the same or similar Programmes. 

At least one batch should have been graduated from the batch and the course should be approved by the statutory councils, as applicable, said a statement from Human Resource Development Ministry.

UGC, in a recent notification, clarified that the Degrees or Diplomas or Certificates awarded for programmes conducted by the ODL institutions, recognised by the commission, should be treated as corresponding degrees of regular institutions.

According to the UGC (Online Courses) Regulations, 2018, online Programmes requiring Practical/ Laboratory Courses as a curricular requirement shall not be permitted.  


"The Examinations shall be conducted in proctored mode and in conformity with any norms for such examinations stipulated by the commission," said the statement from HRD. 

The regulation also suggests that the online learning shall have minimum four quadrants: video lectures, e- content, self-assessment and discussion forum to clarify doubts.

The Higher Educational Institutions will be eligible to offer Online Programmes if they have been in existence for at least five years and are accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a valid minimum score of 3.26 on a 4-point scale; and should be in the top-100 in overall category in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for at least two years in the previous three years. 

However, NAAC and NIRF conditions shall not be applicable to existing government Open Universities till NAAC or similar accreditation system or NIRF are made available.


Aadhaar and Passport shall be used to authenticate the Indian and foreign students respectively for all online interactions including learning and examinations.

The learners' engagement will be monitored via participation in asynchronous / synchronous discussions, assignment activity and Programme involvement. The analytics of Learning Management System shall be used for ensuring the learner's participation at least for 2 hours every fortnight.

These regulations will be made applicable from the academic session 2018-19. 

(indebted to various sources)



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