No engg, tech courses in distance mode: UGC

No engg, tech courses in distance mode: UGC

No retrospective approval for courses, says commission

No engg, tech courses in distance mode: UGC

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has banned universities and institutes from offering diploma and post graduate courses in engineering and technology through distance learning mode until further orders.

In its notification, the regulator has warned that it would take action against institutions violating the ban.

The Commission, in the process of finalising regulations for open and distant learning mode, has also said it will not give retrospective approval to distant learning programmes by institutes “at this stage”.

The institutions have been barred from offering BE and B Tech through distant education mode following a ban in 2009-10 by the former distance education council on the orders of the Human Resource Development Ministry.

Referring to the government’s previous decision, the Commission, in its notice issued late on Monday, directed universities and higher educational institutions not to offer degrees in engineering and technology programmes.

“No university/institution deemed to be university/institution should offer diploma, bachelors and masters level programme in engineering and technology other than MBA and MCA till the finalisation of the UGC (open and distance learning) regulations, 2014 or notification of relevant regulations by an independent regulatory authority established by the central government, whichever is earlier,” the commission said in its public notice.

“UGC has also decided not to consider any request for ex-post factor approval for the ODL programmes offered by any university or other higher educational institutions at this stage,” it added.

The notification did not mention names of the institutions that offer such courses.
Commission Chairman Ved Prakash did not respond to phone calls and text messages from Deccan Herald.

“The UGC has been issuing guidelines and notifications from time to time to regulate courses being offered, but it does not have legal backing to enforce its guidelines, particularly over two thirds of the universities and colleges which are not under the grant list of the higher education regulator,” UGC member M M Ansari said while contacted.

He also wondered why the Commission has to issue a notification when it did not have a comprehensive list of institutions violating the ban.

“Issuing such notifications without identifying the institutions has no meaning,” he said adding that there were many private universities, deemed to be universities and state universities offering such programmes in distance learning mode but the UGC did not have the authority to stop them.

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