The impact of the covid19 pandemic has been singularly highest on the campus education in India and practically a whole year (2020-21) of on the campus academics was lost to closures of education institutions. While switching over to online mode was the only option left as an emergency measure, several voices advocated changes in regulations to facilitate online degree programmes citing success of conduct of online classes and availability of technology and tools.
So, the higher education regulator did come up with clarity and enabling regulations for those HEIs willing to full-fledged Online Programmes (under regulation 3(B)(a) of the University Grants Commission (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020.)
As mandated by the Regulations, online applications had been invited by UGC from all entitled HEls willing to offer programmes under online mode for the year 2020-21, academic session beginning January, 2021 (revised as February-March, 2021). Further, each HEI was required to submit an affidavit for ensuring compliance to all the provisions of the University Grants Commission (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020.
On June 11, UGC uploaded a list of 38 such online degree programmes. “The HEI’s are entitled to offer online programmes for the period, till they are complying NAAC or NIRF ranking requirements as per Regulation 3(B) (a) and if not, they shall discontinue the programmes and accordingly, inform the same to the UGC. The learners already enrolled in the current recognised programmes shall be allowed to complete the programmes in the laid down manner as per the University Grants Commission (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations,2O2O,” the UGC said.