The University Grants Commission (UGC) has cautioned against admission to a dozen higher educational courses, including engineering, hotel management and architecture, as they cannot be availed fully through online, or open and distance learning (ODL) modes.
Along with the 12 streams, MPhil or PhD degrees also cannot be offered through online and open and distance learning (ODL) modes.
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This is primarily because such courses need a sizeable amount of practice beyond class room teaching which is not always possible via ODL or online.
The notification comes as online education gains traction, with most campuses shut given the coronavirus pandemic.
The UGC’s caution is against admission to courses like “engineering, medicine, law, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, physiotherapy, agriculture, hotel management, culinary studies, valuation of real estate, any other program not permitted …by any statutory council or regulatory bodies.”
“Apart from the above, MPhil and PhD programs in all disciplines through ODL, and online mode, are also prohibited,” the regulator said.
To be sure, this won’t prevent institutions from offering 20% of their course through recognised online mode during the pandemic, which has already been approved by the UGC.
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The UGC notice added that private or public-funded universities cannot offer their programs through franchising arrangement with private coaching institutions for admitting learners and conducting courses through open and distance learning and online mode.
“Please ensure that the complete admission process is carried out through the headquarters of the higher educational institutions in a transparent manner,” it said.
The regulator has asked learners “to verify all details as claimed by the higher educational institutions on its official website as all such HEIs that are recognised to offer ODL and or online programs are required to upload all the details on their website.”
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