Budget 2020-21: Top 100 educational institutions to offer full-fledged degree programmes online

New Delhi: Top 100 educational institutions in the country will offer full-fledged online degree programmes, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Saturday.

“Degree level full-fledged online education programme will be started to provide quality education to students of deprived sections of the society as well as those who do not have access to higher education.

“However, these shall be offered only by institutions who are ranked within top 100 in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF),” the Finance Minister said in her Budget speech.

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said the move will help increase the Gross Enrolment Ration (GER).

“I appreciate the announcement of introduction of degree level online education programme. Through this, GER will be increased and education will be accessible to all sections of the society,” Nishank told reporters.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) had paved way for the move by drafting the UGC (Online Courses) Regulations, 2018.

According to the norms laid down by the UGC, higher educational institutions are 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 institutions should be in the top-100 in overall category in the NIRF for at least two years in the previous three years.

“Online programmes requiring practical and 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,” according to UGC regulations.

For the year 2019-20, the UGC has granted recognition to seven higher educational institutions to offer degree, diploma and certificate programmes in online mode.

The institutions include JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysuru, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune, Dr DY Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology and Research Academy, Thanjavur and Amity University, Noida.

The commission had earlier this month granted exemption to Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) from its online courses or programmes regulations 2018.


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