New Policy On Distance Learning In Higher Education Sector

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In pursuance of the announcement of the hundred-day schedules of HRD of the ministry through the Hon’ble Human Resources Improvement Minister, a New Policy On Distance Learning In the Higher Education Sector was changed into the draft.

BACKGROUND

1. Regarding Entry 66 of List 1 of the Seventh Schedule to India’s Constitution, the Parliament can make laws for the coordination and backbone of standards in establishments for higher education for studies and scientific and technical institutions. Parliament has enacted legal guidelines for discharging this obligation through the University Grants Commission (UGC) for widespread Higher Education, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for Technical Education, and different Statutory bodies for other disciplines. As regards higher training, through the space mode, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Act, 1985 was enacted with the subsequent prime goals, among others: (a) To offer possibilities for better schooling to a big phase of the population, specifically disadvantaged agencies dwelling in far off and rural regions, adults, homemakers and working human beings; and (b) to inspire Open University and Distance Education Systems in the instructional sample of the United States of America and to coordinate and decide the requirements in such structures.

2. The history of distance learning or education via distance mode in India goes way back. At the same time, the colleges started out imparting schooling via distance mode within the name of Correspondence Courses through their Directorate/School of Correspondence Education. In those days, the publications in humanities and commerce had been presented via correspondence and brought via the ones who, due to diverse motives, including a restrained variety of seats in ordinary courses, employability, problems of getting admission to the institutions of better-gaining knowledge of and many others., couldn’t bring themselves enrolled within the traditional `face-to-face’ mode `in-magnificence’ programs.

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3. Recently, the demand for better education has expanded quite a bit in the U.S. due to the focus on the significance of better schooling. In contrast, the higher education machine couldn’t accommodate this ever-increasing call.

4. Under the circumstances, some institutions along with deemed universities, personal universities, public (Government) universities, or even other establishments, which aren’t empowered to award stages, have begun cashing in on the scenario by using presenting distance training programs in a huge variety of disciplines, ranging from humanities to engineering and management and so on., and at distinct ranges (certificate to underneath-graduate and post-graduate degrees). There is constantly a chance that several institutions may become `degree mills’ imparting sub-preferred/negative first-class schooling, consequently eroding the credibility of levels and other qualifications awarded via the gap mode. This calls for much more coordination with many concerned statutory authorities, in most cases, UGC, AICTE, and IGNOU and its source – the Distance Education Council (DEC).

5. The Government of India had clarified its function concerning the recognition of ranges earned via the gap mode for employment underneath it vide Gazette Notification No. 44 dated 1. Three.1995.

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6. Despite the risks mentioned in para 4 above, the importance of distance schooling in imparting pleasant instruction and training cannot be overlooked. Distance Mode of activity has an essential position for:

(i)It will impart the possibility of gaining knowledge to those who do not directly enter face-to-face teaching, working humans, house-better halves, and many others.
(ii)It allows professionals to update their information, switch to new disciplines and professions, and enhance their professional advancement qualifications.
(iii)exploiting the capacity of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the coaching and getting to know procedure; and
(iv)accomplishing the goal of 15% of GER using the quit of the eleventh Plan and 20% using the cease of 12th 5 12 months Plan.

7. To discharge the constitutional responsibility of willpower and protection of the standards in higher education, ensure coordination amongst numerous statutory regulatory authorities, and ensure the handling of open and distance training systems inside you. S. A. To satisfy the aspirations of all pass-sections of human beings for better schooling, the subsequent coverage concerning distance studying is laid down:

(a) To ensure proper coordination in the regulation of requirements of higher schooling in extraordinary disciplines through diverse modes [i.e., face and distance] as also to ensure credibility of stages/diplomas and certificates offered through Indian Universities and other Education Institutes, an apex frame, particularly, National Commission for Higher Education and Research will be hooked up in line with the recommendations of Prof. Yash Pal Committee/National Knowledge Commission. A Standing Committee on Open and Distance Education of the said Commission shall adopt the task of coordination, willpower, and renovation of training requirements through the space mode. Pending establishment of this body:

(i) Only those programs that do not involve considerable sensible course work shall be permissible through the distance mode.

(ii) Universities/institutions shall frame ordinances/rules/rules because the case can be spelling out the definition of the programs to be supplied through the space mode indicating the variety of required credit, a listing of courses with assigned credit, studying references in addition to self getting to know cloth, hours of study, contact training at having a look at centers, assignments, exam and assessment technique, grading and so forth.

(iii) DEC of IGNOU shall simplest investigate the university/institute’s competence to appreciate conducting distance education programs through a team of specialists whose record shall be located earlier than the Council of DEC for attention.

(iv) The approval shall be given handiest after consideration by using the Council of DEC and now not using Chairperson, DEC. For this motive, a minimum wide variety of obligatory conferences of DEC may be prescribed.

(v) AICTE could be directed under section 20 (1) of the AICTE Act 1987 to make certain accreditation of the programs in Computer Sciences, Information Technology, and Management purposed to be supplied by an institute/university through the space mode, using National Board of Accreditation (NBA).

(vi) UGC and AICTE could be directed under section 20 (1) in their respective Acts to frame special guidelines prescribing requirements for various programs/courses provided via the distance mode beneath their mandate,

(vii) No college/institute, except the universities hooked up through or beneath an Act of Parliament/State Legislature before 1985, shall subsequently provide any program through the distance mode without approval from DEC and accreditation via NBA. However, the universities/establishments already presenting programs in Humanities, Commerce/Business/Social Sciences/Computer Sciences and Information Technology and Management may be allowed to maintain the situation to the condition of gaining fresh approval from DEC and accreditation from NBA within 12 months, failing which they shall have to stop the program and the complete onus with appreciate to the educational career and financial losses of the students enrolled with them shall be on such institutions/universities.

(viii) In light of Apex Court’s statement, ex-submit-facto approval granted by using any authority for distance training shall no longer be honored and granted henceforth. However, the colleges hooked up through or beneath an Act of schooling programs inside the streams of Humanities/Commerce/Social Sciences before the 12 months of 1991 will be excluded from this policy.

(ix) The students who have been awarded ranges via distance mode by using the universities without taking previous approval of DEC and other statutory bodies will be given one risk, supplied they fulfill the minimum requirements as prescribed by using the UGC, AICTE or another relevant Statutory Authority via Regulation, to seem in examinations in such papers as determined with the aid of the college precise to behavior the exam. If those students qualify for this examination, the college involved shall have a certificate. Together with the said qualifying certificates, the degree can be known for employment/advertising beneath the Central Government.

(x) An explanation will be issued concerning Gazette Notification No. 44 dated 1.3.1995 that it shall not apply to the levels/diplomas presented by using the universities hooked up through or below an Act of Parliament or State Legislature before 1985 within the streams of Humanities/Commerce and Social Sciences.

(xi) The coverage projects spelled out in succeeding paragraphs shall similarly apply to institutions imparting distance schooling/proceeding to provide distance training.

(b) All universities and establishments providing programs through the distance mode shall need to have prior popularity/popularity of offering such programs and accreditation from certain in a position of authority, mandatorily regarding the programs they presented. The violators of this shall be accountable for a suitable penalty as prescribed by regulation. The universities/establishments providing training through distance mode and observed involved in dishonest students/humans via giving wrong/false facts or wilfully suppressing the records shall additionally be handled strictly below the penal provisions of the regulation.

(c) The universities/institutes shall have observation centers for face-to-face counseling and eliminating problems while seeking other instructional and administrative help, whether public or personal; franchising distance training via any university or establishment shall not be allowed.

(d ) The universities /establishments shall provide the most effective offer of such programs through distance mode on their campuses through conventional methods. They shall always have the specified departments and faculties before providing applicable programs in open universities through distance mode.

(e) It would be mandatory for all universities and schooling establishments imparting distance education to apply Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in delivering their programs and control the scholar and college affairs via an internet portal or any other platform. The stated platform shall forever display in a public area the data approximately the statutory and other approvals and other important facts about the programs on offer via distance mode, their accreditation and college students enrolled, yr- sensible, and many others. This may be related to a countrywide database, as and while created, to facilitate the stakeholders to recognize the levels for the cause of academic pursuit or employment with/underneath them.

(f) All universities/training establishments shall use e-getting-to-know content for delivery/offering of their programs via distance mode. They shall also be endorsed/required to adopt e-surveillance technology to conduct easy, honest, and obvious examinations.

(g) The attention of distance training will provide the possibility of movement to people in educationally deprived situations, which includes living in far-off and rural regions, adults not using a or restrained get admission to education in their choice, and many others.

(h) A preference-based total credit machine shall be upgraded to promote flexibility and primarily based learning. All ODE establishments will be endorsed to adopt this device and evolve a mechanism for acceptance and transfer of credit of the guides efficiently completed utilizing students in face-to-face or distance mode. For this reason, the establishment of a credit bank may be considered. Similarly, traditional universities, imparting face-to-face mode programs, will be encouraged to accept the scholars’ credits through distance mode. A switchover from an annual to a semester device will be critical.

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(i) Convergence of traditional universities’ face-to-face mode teaching departments with their distance education directorates/correspondence course wings and open universities/establishments imparting distance education shall be impressed upon to bridge the gap in distance and traditional face-to-face mode of schooling.

(j) Reputed Foreign education carriers nicely mounted, recognized, and permitted through ready authority in the United States of America and willing to offer their education programs in India shall be allowed, situation to the fulfillment of the country’s criminal requirement.

(ok) A National Information and Communication Technology infrastructure for networking ODE establishments will be created under the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology.

(l) Efforts might be made to create a beneficial environment for research in Open and Distance Education (ODE) gadgets utilizing setting up infrastructures like e-libraries, virtual information-base, online journals, retaining regular workshops, seminars, and many others.

(m) Training and orientation programs for educators and administrators in the ODE system with recognition of using ICT and self-studying practice shall be advocated.

(n) ODE institutions will be encouraged to care for newbies’ instructional desires with disabilities and senior citizens.

(o) A legitimate notification clarifying the problem of the popularity of instructional qualification earned via distance mode for the cause of employment will be issued.

(p) A mechanism shall be set up to evaluate a range of foreign universities for the cause of academic pursuit and employment under the Central Government. This may additionally include assessing the credentials of the college concerned and checking the competence of the degree holder if needed.