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Centre to allow universities to offer online courses; set to introduce regulations soon

Unlike regular correspondence course, students from other states can also opt for online courses at various state universities.

Published: 17th January 2018 12:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th January 2018 12:11 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Centre is set to introduce regulations for online study courses in the country enabling universities to offer degree, diploma and certificate programmes to lakhs of students through online mode.

Union human resources development minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said that the policy was aimed at giving a boost to the gross enrolment ratio, the ratio of persons enrolled in higher education institute, in the country.

However, universities that have been graded A+ and A++ by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council and have a score of 3.26 or above alone will be allowed to offer such courses. If an online course is being offered by a university that doesn’t have the requisite rating, it will be given two years to improve its performance, Javadekar said.

There are 16 institutes in the country that offer online courses but there are no norms to govern them.

“The Central Advisory Board of Education will make efforts to increase the gross educational ratio by opening new universities, using existing infrastructure more productively, and by using open and distance learning and online education,” Javadekar added.

 “The board commits to take necessary steps to ensure that no deserving student should be denied the opportunity to have higher education for lack of means.”

The minister, however, clarified that the courses offered via online mode will only be non-technical ones.

At present, there is a concern over the lack of credible evaluation mechanism for students opting for online courses. However, the government plans to conduct entrance exams in the format of GRE (test for admission into graduate courses in US universities)/GMAT (test for admission into business schools in the US and some other countries) exam for online courses.

The format may be different from multiple-choice questions, a senior official in the ministry said. The universities offering the course will be allowed to decide on the format for the entrance exam.

Unlike regular correspondence course, students from other states can also opt for online courses at various state universities.

In July last year, the ministry had also launched portal Swayam under its Massive Open Online Course programme, that aims to offer soft, short term courses to students. These courses are mostly being designed or curated by professors of Indian Institute of Technology (IITs).


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