1. What are rules and regulations governing Open and Distance Learning Education and Online Education offered by the Institutions in India?
UGC has notified University Grants Commission (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020 on 4th September, 2020 in the Gazette. Subsequently, amendments have been notified on 1st July, 2021 and 18th July, 2022 in the Gazette which is available on UGC website.
These regulations are applicable to a University referred to under clause (f) of section 2 of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 (3 of 1956) and an Institution Deemed to be University under section 3 of the said Act.
2. How do the students who wish to pursue higher education through ODL and Online mode know the recognition status of Institution?
The year-wise recognition status of universities recognized/entitled to offer programmes through ODL and Online mode along with the names of programmes is already in public domain and can be accessed at UGC website https://deb.ugc.ac.in/.
The student must confirm recognition status of HEI for ODL and Online education for the session opted for admission on UGC DEB website, check the details on the HEIs’ website, prohibited programmes, ensuring all activities within Territorial Jurisdiction for ODL Programmes and prohibition of franchising arrangement.
Recognition status of HEI for previous year does not indicate recognition status for next session also.
3. What are the programmes which are permitted and prohibited in ODL Education and Online Education?
UGC regulations lay down the minimum standards of instruction for the grant of degrees at the undergraduate and post graduate levels and grant of post graduate diploma of duration of two years.
Programmes in the disciplines (including their allied domains) of Engineering, Medical, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and other Para-Medical disciplines, Pharmacy, Nursing, Dental, Architecture, Law, Agriculture, Horticulture, Hotel Management, Catering Technology, Culinary Sciences, Aircraft Maintenance, Visual Arts and Sports are prohibited in ODL and/or Online mode. The research based programmes such as M.Phil and Ph.D. are also prohibited.
4. Whether the degree acquired through distance mode is equivalent to the degree acquired through regular mode?
Regulation 22 of UGC (ODL Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020 stipulates as under:
Degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level in conformity with UGC notification on Specification of Degrees, 2014 and post graduate diplomas awarded through Open and Distance Learning mode and/or Online mode by Higher Educational Institutions, recognised by the Commission under these regulations, shall be treated as equivalent to the corresponding awards of the Degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level and post graduate diplomas offered through conventional mode.
5. Whether the learner is permitted to change mode of learning from ODL and Online mode?
Regulation 23(1) of UGC (ODL Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020 stipulates as under:
A learner enrolled for a programme under Open and Distance Learning mode and/or Online mode in a Higher Educational Institution recognised by the Commission under these regulations shall be eligible for mobility from one mode of learning to another mode of learning within the Higher Educational Institution as per the provisions stipulated under its Act and with the approval of statutory authorities of the Higher Educational Institution; Provided that in case a programme is under the domain of regulatory authority/statutory council, Higher Educational Institution shall take permission from the concerned regulatory authority/statutory council for mobility of learners under such programmes.
6. Whether the degree acquired during recognised period stands recognised?
Regulation 23(2) of UGC (ODL Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020 stipulates as under:
Admission taken in a recognized programme under Open and Distance Learning mode and/or Online mode during the recognition period stands recognised till the completion of programme, even if the Higher Educational Institution does not have recognition for further years, provided the programme is offered as per the UGC norms of territorial jurisdiction and in conformity with the extant guidelines and/or UGC regulations and regulations of respective regulatory bodies.
7. Whether the learner residing in any part of the Country can enrol in any university recognized by UGC? Regulation 23(3) and 23 (4) of UGC (ODL Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020 stipulates as under:
Learner’s enrolment (for Open and Distance Learning mode): A Learner residing in any part of the Country may enroll in any programme being offered by a Higher Educational Institution recognised by the Commission for offering programme under Open and Distance Learning mode provided that the Higher Educational Institution shall conduct all activities such as admissions, contact programmes, examinations etc. for learner strictly within the territorial jurisdiction of the Higher Educational Institution as specified in these regulations.
Learner’s enrolment (for Online mode):A Learner residing within or outside India may enroll in any programme being offered by a Higher Educational Institution recognized by the Commission for offering programme under Online mode.
8. What is the territorial jurisdiction of Institutions/Universities for offering ODL and/or Online programmes?
The policy on territorial jurisdiction is defined under Annexure III of UGC (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020 which can be accessed on UGC website at https://deb.ugc.ac.in
|Type of University||Territorial Jurisdiction|
|Central University||Allotted to HEI under its Act|
|State University||Allotted to HEI under its Act and in no case beyond the territory of the state of its location|
|Private University (under a State Act)||
• Allotted to HEI under its Act and in no case beyond the territory of the state of its location
• Offer Programmes only through HQ and recognized off campus centres
• Programmes not to be offered from Learner Support Centre (LSC)
|Deemed to be University||Within its Head Quarters or from those off campuses which are approved by the Government of India|
9. Whether all Higher Educational Institution can offer Certificate or Diploma programmes in Open and Distance Learning mode and/or Online mode?
Only Higher Educational Institution recognised for offering programmes at Under Graduate Degree or Post Graduate Degree or Post Graduate diploma levels in ODL mode and/or Online mode may offer Certificate or Diploma programmes in ODL mode and/or Online mode provided HEI has the approval of its statutory authorities and Regulatory Authorities or Councils.
10.What about the approval of UGC for ODL and/or Online mode of IITs/IIMs/IISc and other INIs?
IITs/IIMs/IISc and other INIs doesn’t come under the purview of UGC.
11. Whether Higher Educational Institution can offer programmes in any franchise arrangement with a private service provider under ODL and/ or Online mode?
Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) can offer ODL and/ or Online programmes under its complete ownership.
No university can offer its programmes or other related activities through franchising arrangement for the purpose of conducting courses through Open and Distance Learning mode and/or Online mode. Further, no admission shall be made in a programme claimed to be offered by HEI in association with private service provider.