|IN LIMBO The status of Distance Education Council is uncertain after it was dissolved, but a replacement is yet to be made|
WOULD you like to know if your distance education programme can fetch you a government job or if you can apply for an executive’s position in a public sector enterprise? OR will the DL programme allow you to pursue a higher degree in a premier institution? Whether any distance learning degree can get you admission in a foreign university? OR is it possible to do a regular programme and a distance learning diploma or certificate or vice versa. These queries are quite common for which there are answers. However if you ask whether you could pursue a B.Tech course in DL mode, one is not sure, since the matter is sub judice. Once a new regulatory body is set up, the ambiguous guidelines will hopefully get straightened out.
Q. Will the award I receive from UGC/DEC-accredited institute be accepted by traditional college/ recruiter?
A. Acceptance of degrees from UGC/ DEC recognised institutions is largely determined by the policy of the “receiving organisation”, for example, a recruiter, a college admission committee etc. The open universities and renowned dual mode universities offering DL courses have a credible record for most of the courses and for higher studies or recruitment in government organisations the degrees are accepted (see notification below). The UGC/ DEC recognition is for a given period, renewed from time to time usually for three years. You should always check with the college or university where you wish to pursue your higher studies before you enrol in a course.
Notification No. 44
The Dept. of Education, Ministry of HRD, notified vide Notification No. 44 dated 01-03-1995 published on Saturday, April 8th, 1995 in the Gazette of India that:
The DEC notice (prior to May 28, 2013 UGC notification on the status of DEC of IGNOU getting dissolved) also said: “Any degree/ diploma/ certificate offered through distance mode not recognized by the DEC shall not be accepted for employment in Government Services and the institution offering such programmes would face de-recognition”. The Ministry of HRD on December 29, 2012 had issued an order asking the UGC and AICTE to create the necessary physical infrastructure and have qualified manpower in three months so that they are able to discharge the regulatory responsibilities of the ODL system in their respective areas. However, after the dissolution of DEC, the UGC has come out with two public notifications: one dated June 17, 2013 on the Commission adopting the DEC (IGNOU) guidelines on requirements and regulation of ODL institutions and the second dated June 27, 2013 on ODL courses, territorial jurisdiction and study centres/off-campuses of universities offering distance education.
|“On the recommendation of the Board of Assessment for Educational Qualification, the Government of India has decided that all the qualifications awarded through Distance Education by the Universities established by an Act of Parliament or State Legislature, Institutions Deemed to be Universities under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956 and Institutions of National Importance declared under an Act of Parliament stand automatically recognized for the purpose of employment to posts and services under the Central Government, provided it has been approved by Distance Education Council, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi – 110068.”|
Q. What key recommendations did Madhav Menon Committee propose?
A. The key recommendations are as follows:
- Well regulated expansion of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system during the 12th Plan period to help fulfil aspirations of seekers of knowledge and skill by enhancing the opportunities at affordable cost.
- Every conventional university and institution, including technical and professional ones, should be encouraged to switch over to a dual mode and offer ODL programmes.
- Creation of a new Regulatory body namely, Distance Education Council of India (DECI) through an Act of Parliament.
- Institutions to restrict study centres within their statutory territorial limits.
- Review of UGC’s decision not to permit PhD (DL) and not to allow new Deemed universities to offer DL courses.
- Ban on Deemed Universities operating through affiliated colleges/franchisee centres.
- Use of ICT in offering ODL programmes.
- Equivalence of degrees awarded through ODL and regular system both for educational and employment purposes.
The two recommendations that have been taken for consideration by the higher authorities in the government are:
- Issue of Policy direction to the UGC for assuming the responsibility of maintaining standards in ODL system as an interim measure
- Amendment to IGNOU Act to divest it of responsibilities of regulating the ODL system
Q. Are courses in DL mode equivalent to a regular degree programme?
A. DL courses are fully recognised and valid by the UGC and AIU provided they are approved by the UGC and DEC (presently non-functional as an autonomous body but functionalities adopted by the UGC) for a given period. One can see the approved courses, list of DL institutes and the validity period at www.dec.ac.in. The courses usually carry the same amount of credit hours as when the course is taught on-campus. One is advised to count the credit hours towards their degree and check with their institute to ensure course equivalencies. Once the course is completed, one should request for an official transcript.
Q. Can I pursue diploma course in regular mode along with a distance degree course?
A. “According to a latest notification by UGC and DEC, anyone can pursue one regular degree and one distance diploma simultaneously and vice versa, one diploma in regular mode and another in distance mode or two diplomas simultaneously in distance mode or one regular degree and one certificate in distance mode,” says Prof. Sharma of KU. Prof. Gor of BAOU shares that one can pursue a regular degree course along with distance degree course because like many universities they also provide the flexibility of completing distance course within eight years.
|R K SHARMA |
Faculty, Kurukshetra University
Anyone can pursue one regular degree and one distance diploma simultaneously and vice versa, or two diplomas simultaneously in DL mode or one regular degree and one certificate in DL mode