TED NewsDesk, New Delhi: As students get ready to enrol in colleges and universities, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has released a checklist for distance learning programs. Students can follow this list to make informed decisions about their careers. The checklist includes compliance with a prescribed duration for academic sessions, prohibition of private franchising agreements and ensuring all activities are within the territorial jurisdiction. This checklist is specially designed for students to consult before enrolling in distance learning programmes.
“Please ensure that the minimum duration, nomenclature and qualification for degree programme under which they are enrolling is strict as per UGC notification on the specification of degrees and its amendments,” said UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain. A notification listing the precautions that need to be taken by students before enrolling in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) programmes is also released.
“Also ensure that all activities of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) including admission, counselling sessions, contact programmes, programme delivery and examinations are strictly conducted within the territorial jurisdiction,” he added.
“Please ensure that the admission process is carried out through the headquarters of the HEIs in a transparent manner. The learners are also advised to verify all details as claimed by the institution on the website. If any deviation is noticed, please communicate the same to UGC for necessary punitive action as per provisions defined under respective regulations,” Jain said, reiterating the importance of some points in the checklist.
As per these norms, the students need to keep in mind the following points:
- No central, state, private or deemed-to-be university can offer its programmes through franchising agreements with private coaching institutions. This applies to admissions and conducting courses through open and distance learning and online mode.
- The admission process needs to be carried out through the headquarters of the HEIs in a transparent way. The students can verify all details claimed by institutes on the website. In case of any deviation, the students must communicate with the UGC for necessary punitive action as per the regulations.
- Advisory against taking admission in programmes which are prohibited in distance learning has also been issued. These programmes include engineering, medicine, law, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, physiotherapy, agriculture, hotel management, culinary studies, and the valuation of real estate. Also included are MPhil or PhD programmes in any discipline.
- In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission decided that the revised academic session for this year shall be kept as a period of 12 months. According to this, the session will be from September-October, 2020 and February-March, 2021.
With the latest shift to online education due to the ongoing pandemic, this step by the UGC aims to ensure that a check on higher universities is maintained. Students also get to make informed academic decisions with the help of this checklist.