NEW DELHI: Higher Educational Institutions can offer certificate, diploma and degree Programmes in a full-fledged online mode in only those disciplines in which it has already been offering the same or similar Programmes in regular mode, University Grants Commission has ruled.
As part of online course regulations, 2018 released for the first time on Thursday, the UGC has also said the institutes must be offering these courses in open or distance learning mode from which at least one batch has been graduated.
The new norms say that online programmes requiring practical/ laboratory courses as a curricular requirement will not be permitted and the examinations will be conducted in proctored mode.
Also, the online learning will have minimum four quadrants- video lectures, e-content, self-assessment and discussion forum to clarify doubts.
The regulations also stipulate that 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.
The institutes should also 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 will not be applicable to existing government open Universities till NAAC or similar accreditation system or NIRF are made available.
Aadhar and Passport shall be used to authenticate the Indian and foreign students respectively for all online interactions including teaching-learning and examinations.
The learners’ engagement will be monitored via participation in asynchronous or synchronous discussions, assignment activity and Programme involvement.
Overall Regulations provide enabling provisions for maintaining the sanctity of admissions, teaching-learning, examination, the authenticity of the learner and mandatory disclosure of programme-wise information such as duration, start and end dates and fee.
These regulations will be made applicable from the academic session 2018-19. Officials in the Human Resources Development ministry said that the initiative is a big step towards attaining the targeted gross enrolment ratio of 30 per cent by the year 2020.