New Policy On Distance Understanding In Higher Education Sector

In pursuance to the announcement of 100 days agenda of HRD of ministry by Hon’ble Human Resources development Minister, a New Policy on Distance Finding out In Greater Education Sector was drafted.

BACKGROUND

1. In terms of Entry 66 of List 1 of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India, Parliament is competent to make laws for the coordination and determination of standards in institutions for larger education for research, and scientific and technical institutions. Parliament has enacted laws for discharging this duty by way of: the University Grants Commission (UGC) for general Greater Education, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for Technical Education and other Statutory bodies for other disciplines. As regards larger education, through the distance mode, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Act, 1985 was enacted with the following two prime objectives, among other people: (a) To present possibilities for larger education to a big segment of population, especially disadvantaged groups living in remote and rural areas, adults, housewives and functioning individuals and (b) to encourage Open University and Distance Education Systems in the educational pattern of the country and to coordinate and identify the standards in such systems.

two. The history of distance understanding or education by means of distance mode in India, goes way back when the universities began supplying education by way of distance mode in the name of Correspondence Courses through their Directorate/College of Correspondence Education. In these days, the courses in humanities and/or in commerce were offered by means of correspondence and taken by those, who, owing to a variety of factors, like restricted quantity of seats in normal courses, employability, complications of access to the institutions of higher mastering and so forth., could not get themselves enrolled in the standard `face-to-face’ mode `in-class’ programmes.

three. In the recent past, the demand for greater education has increased enormously all through the country mainly because of awareness about the significance of larger education, whereas the system of higher education could not accommodate this ever growing demand.

four. Below the situations, a number of institutions including deemed universities, private universities, public (Government) universities and even other institutions, which are not empowered to award degrees, have began cashing on the predicament by providing distance education programmes in a huge quantity of disciplines, ranging from humanities to engineering and management etc., and at various levels (certificate to below-graduate and post-graduate degrees). There is usually a danger that some of these institutions may possibly develop into `degree mills’ offering sub- typical/poor good quality education, consequently eroding the credibility of degrees and other qualifications awarded through the distance mode. This calls for a far higher degree of coordination among the concerned statutory authorities, mainly, UGC, AICTE and IGNOU and its authority – the Distance Education Council (DEC).

five. Government of India had clarified its position in respect of recognition of degrees, earned via the distance mode, for employment below it vide Gazette Notification No. 44 dated 1.3.1995.

six. In spite of the risks referred to in para four above, the significance of distance education in offering good quality education and education cannot be ignored. Distance Mode of education has an crucial role for:

(i)supplying chance of studying to these, who do not have direct access to face to face teaching, operating persons, house-wives etc.
(ii)giving chance to working experts to update their know-how, enabling them to switchover to new disciplines and professions and enhancing their qualifications for profession advancement.
(iii)exploiting the prospective of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the teaching and learning procedure and
(iv)attaining the target of 15% of GER by the end of 11th Program and 20% by the finish of 12th five year Program.

7. In order to discharge the Constitutional responsibility of determination and maintenance of the requirements in Larger Education, by ensuring coordination among different statutory regulatory authorities as also to guarantee the promotion of open and distance education system in the country to meet the aspirations of all cross-sections of folks for greater education, the following policy in respect of distance finding out is laid down:

(a) In order to ensure suitable coordination in regulation of standards of larger education in distinct disciplines by way of different modes [i.e. face to face and distance] as also to guarantee credibility of degrees/diploma and certificates awarded by Indian Universities and other Education Institutes, an apex physique, namely, National Commission for Greater Education and Investigation shall be established in line with the recommendations of Prof. Yash Pal Committee/National Expertise Commission. A Standing Committee on Open and Distance

Education of the mentioned Commission, shall undertake the job of coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of education through the distance mode. Pending establishment of this body:

(i) Only those programmes, which do not involve comprehensive practical course function, shall be permissible by way of the distance mode.

(ii) Universities / institutions shall frame ordinances / regulations / guidelines, as the case may well be, spelling out the outline of the programmes to be provided via the distance mode indicating the number of needed credits, list of courses with assigned credits, reading references in addition to self mastering material, hours of study, contact classes at study centres, assignments, examination and evaluation process, grading and so forth.

(iii) DEC of IGNOU shall only assess the competence of university/institute in respect of conducting distance education programmes by a team of professionals, whose report shall be placed prior to the Council of DEC for consideration.

( neet ) The approval shall be offered only after consideration by Council of DEC and not by Chairperson, DEC. For the goal, minimum number of mandatory meetings of DEC may possibly be prescribed.

(v) AICTE would be directed below section 20 (1) of AICTE Act 1987 to assure accreditation of the programmes in Laptop Sciences, Information and facts Technology and Management purposed to be presented by an institute/university by way of the distance mode, by National Board of Accreditation (NBA).

(vi) UGC and AICTE would be directed below section 20 (1) of their respective Acts to frame detailed regulations prescribing requirements for numerous programmes/courses, offered via the distance mode beneath their mandate,

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