UGC new regulations choke varsities
The University Grants Commission online courses or programmes Regulations, 2018, which have come into effect from July 4 this year have turned out to be more a control and regulating process than helping the students in any way
They turn out to be more a control and regulating process than helping students
Hyderabad: The University Grants Commission (online courses or programmes) Regulations, 2018, which have come into effect from July 4 this year have turned out to be more a control and regulating process than helping the students in any way.
According to sources, the new rules allow deemed universities, universities established under the State Act, offering regular as well as open and distance education and awarding degree, diploma and certificate courses, are allowed to offer the same course through online mode.
However, they should fulfil the eligibility criteria set under the new regulations.
Also, they are not allowed to offer any programmes in engineering, law, and medicine, dental, pharmacy nursing, architecture, physiotherapy, applied arts which are regulated by other statutory or regulatory bodies and councils.
As per the new regulations, which have come into effect from July 4 this year, only two State Universities, i.e., Osmania University, Hyderabad, and Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupathi, from the two Telugu States are eligible to offer courses through online mode.
The apex regulator of HEIs said that it has decided to allow offering online courses, as there is a growing demand from the people. In particular, students and working professionals are more interested to take online courses.
This is to improve skills sets in a given domain for better job prospectus or for working professionals, either to make value addition to their existing skills for promotions or to branch out into another field.
However, the new rules would not help was the feeling of the senior officials involved in the Distance Education Departments.
Speaking to The Hans India, a senior official from the Distance Education Department from SVU said as per the new regulations, “The academic sessions shall begin either from July – August or from January – February every year."
But, in most of the cases, candidates prefer rolling admissions for online courses so that they can enrol at any point of time in a year.
This would give them the much-needed flexibility to plan and enrol in one or a combination of courses depending on their interest or career needs.
They would complete their certificate, diploma or degree on the basis of credits earned or giving examinations at the end of each semester or year, he said.
Further, the university should take prior approval for every course it wanted to offer through online mode. Otherwise, "the courses offered are not valid," said a senior academic member from the Prof G Ram Reddy Centre for Distance Education (PGRRCDE) of Osmania University.
For example, the PGRRCED has been offering Postgraduation in MSc, MA, MBA and MCA, as well as Postgraduate Diplomas and Under Graduate courses like BA, BCom and BBA.
Under the new regulations, a candidate cannot opt for two or more papers towards earning credits to complete a diploma or degree course.
Hence, there is nothing new to offer through online mode by the university, he added.