Centre lifts ban on MPhil, PhD through distance mode

Centre lifts ban on MPhil, PhD through distance mode

 The Centre has lifted the ban on open universities offering MPhil and PhD programmes in non-technical subjects through distance learning mode, thus allowing more students to acquire the qualifications through UGC-approved institutions.

The meeting presided over by HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar also relaxed the norms that required regular varsities and institutions to seek the UGC approval annually for offering programmes in distance education.


“Institutions now need to obtain one-time approval for degree programmes,” official sources told DH. “Only if they introduce fresh programmes or make changes or deviations in existing ones should they approach the UGC for fresh approval.”

Sources also added that the institutions need not take UGC permission for diploma or certificate.

Open universities can offer these programmes in distance education mode in non-technical subjects, a senior HRD Ministry official said. The current restrictions on offering technical education through distance mode shall remain, the official added.
“PhDs have been allowed in subjects like humanities and social sciences,” the HRD Minister told reporters after the meeting.

Thousands of students across the country are taking courses from 15 open universities, including the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). 

Though the meeting was attended by representatives of all open universities, the issue of renewing Karnataka State Open University was not part of the agenda.

“This issue was not discussed at the meeting. The UGC is separately examining the case of Karnataka Open University. A decision will soon be taken,” a UGC official said.

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