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UGC Approval Now Must For Universities to Offer Open, Distance Learning Courses


The government has said that universities will now require prior approval from the University Grants Commission (UGC) to offer Open and Distance Learning courses.

The notification came into effect on Friday, November 18, 2022, when they were published in the Gazette of India. The new regulations will serve to amend the University Grants Commission (Categorization of Universities (only) for Grant of Graded Autonomy) Regulations, 2018. The Secretary of the UGC, PK Thakur, issued a public notice stating the details of the approval of the amendment by the Commission.

The public notice stated that the UGC had considered and approved the amendments to the 2018 regulations in its 562nd meeting. This meeting was held on October 28. The notice highlighted that the amendment in the rules had been notified in the Gazette of India on November 18 as the University Grants Commission (Categorization of Universities (only) for Grant of Graded Autonomy) (First Amendment) Regulations, 2022.

The 2018 regulations stated that universities can offer courses in the Open and Distance Learning mode without the approval of the Commission. This was conditional to them satisfying all the conditions laid down under the regulations pertaining to such modes of learning.

This has been replaced by the clause stating, “Universities may offer courses in the Open and Distance Learning mode, with approval of the Commission, provided it satisfies all the conditions laid down under the regulations, by whatever name they are called, pertaining to open and distance learning mode notified by the UGC from time to time.”

The official public notice from the UGC can be found here, while the notification published in the Gazette of India can be accessed here. The latter is available on the official UGC website’s “Notices” section, as well.

The principal regulations, which have been subject to amendment, were initially published in the Gazette of India in February 2018.

There is an emphasis on increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio in India via technology since the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 focused on it.

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