NOIDA– The University Grants Commission (UGC) has released a list of courses which are to be banned through distance education by any institution. In the latest circular released by UGC, the higher education institutions have been asked not to offer professional degree courses through distance learning mode. During the 538th meeting of UGC members, more courses have been taken under the ambit of ‘professional courses’.
As per the revised rules, agricultural and allied courses will also come in the category of professional courses and the institutes will not be able to offer these courses through distance mode. Either the institutes need to close these courses or tweak the programs to comply with the new rules.
Now, according to the rules, the list of the courses that can’t be offered through distance learning are medicine, engineering, pharmacy, dental, architecture, nursing, physiotherapy and agriculture
Among all the HEIs across India, the renowned institutes that offer agricultural study through distance learning are Nalanda Open University, Kuvempu University, IGNOU, Annamalai University, and Yashwant Rao Chavan Maharashtra Open University.
“To protect the interest of the students already enrolled to the agriculture degree programme, the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) has been requested for hand-holding of such higher education institutions. However, no new enrolments will be permitted from the 2019 academic session,” a UGC official told PTI.
Moreover, the UGC has also defined a timeline for the universities offering education through Open Distance Learning (ODL). First academic session of open universities should start in January followed by the second session in July.