University Grants Commission, UGC has approved regulations for online courses by universities.
In its meeting held on Friday, the Commission decided that the higher educational institutions and universities will be able to offer graduate, postgraduate and diploma programmes online from this academic session.
Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar in a tweet said, it is a landmark reform in the field of higher education.
The decision will help top rated institutions to offer certificate, diploma & degree programmes in full-fledged online mode in only those disciplines in which it has already been offering the same or similar programmes or courses at graduation level in regular mode.
The Ministry of Human Resources Development in a statement said, online Programmes requiring Practical or 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.
The online learning shall have minimum four quadrants, video lectures, e- content, self-assessment and discussion forum to clarify doubts.
The Higher Educational Institutions will be 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 and should be in the top-100 in overall category in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for at least two years in the previous three years.
However, NAAC and NIRF conditions shall not be applicable to existing government Open Universities till NAAC or similar accreditation system or NIRF are made available.
The initiative is a big step towards attaining the targeted Gross Enrolment Ratio GER of 30 per cent by the year 2020.