UGC Guidelines For Online Courses to pursue in 2021
Since 2016, the Indian government has been trying to promote the usage of online education systems and UGC online courses. In 2018, UGC produced the regulations for the UGC online certification courses, as a part of its Digital India initiative. Recently due to the outbreak of the pandemic, the government has issued several UGC guidelines for the online courses which are about to begin from the month of November or December. These UGC guidelines for online courses would also be helpful for those students who are planning to pursue programmes in 2021.
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The University Grants Commission (UGC) is a government body set-up by the Indian Government under the University Grants Commission Act and prepares guidelines for the ethical operation of universities in India. Not only that, UGC monitors and fixes the norms for the educational institutes which are engaged in imparting higher education in the country. UGC also looks after the funding and appraisal related to these institutions.
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The UGC Guidelines for Online Courses
The UGC is the controller of all the norms regarding the higher education system that has provided the guidelines about the new academic year that is supposed to start this year. Due to the recent urgency, the state government has advised all the state universities to continue to provide “e -lectures” and “e-content” from Monday and it has to be completed by July 31.
The e-content provided by the universities can be accessed with the help of an “open access link” on the websites of the respective institutions; so that the students of other universities at the same time can also benefit from the content.
The universities have been directed to ensure that the teachers have proper communication with parents or guardians of students from July 13 to August 3. The last day for processing admission of all the students in all types of Degree courses is the 15th of September.
The same for the Postgraduate courses students is 31st October, with the admission process completely digitized.
The online classes are touted to start by August 4. The students who are in the first year of the degree course are scheduled to start on October 1. The online classes for a Master’s degree will begin on November 1.
According to the UGC guidelines for online courses, the “mid-term” examinations could be conducted both online or offline.
The marking system is suggested to provide weightage based on the marks obtained in the mid-term and sessional tutorials, assignments, examinations, and projects.
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UGC Guidelines for Online Courses
The University Grants Commission (UGC) gave “in-principle approval” to the country’s nearly 1,000 universities to offer online up to 40 percent of any of the courses.
In addition, 200 odd ones out of them were also given “in-principle approval” to conduct the entire degree course online only.
These recommendations have come through several committees. A committee led by the vice-chancellor of the Indira Gandhi National Open University, Nageswar Rao, has advised making it mandatory to suggest ways of expansion of online education.
The panel also suggested that the present provision for only 20 percent of a course, which is allowed to be taught online, should be raised up to 40 percent in order to consider the “national interest” due to the emergence of the Covid-19 outbreak.
It was suggested that there should be three categories of few universities that would be allowed to offer courses entirely online. The categories of such universities are proved eligible when the following points are considered:
Universities who have been awarded scores of 3.01 or more by the NAAC.
Universities that have made it to the top 100 in all categories of the National Institutional Ranking Framework, at least once for two years.
It is a government-run open university.
It is said that about 200 universities have currently satisfied one or all of the three criteria. However, UGC has not given a formal nod and has not made any of the necessary amendments to the regulations on online courses until now.
If it does then surely these universities will be capable of offering several online courses from the upcoming academic session that is yet to come. UGC-approved courses related to nursing, law, pharmacy, engineering, dentistry, medicine, and architecture have been kept aside from the bounds of online courses.
UGC has also stressed about an in-principle approval is intended to opt but there are chances to make changes to it in further proposals.
The UGC has decided to initiate the “One India One Search Engine” program, which would allow the students to access content like text, images, and videos on a single online platform. UGC has assured that the universities will have their individual call on this too.
The Kuhad committee is another committee that has also given recommendations for the UGC guidelines for the online courses.
It has recommended that to make it possible for exams be conducted in a more short and updated format for the final semester for this academic year (2019-20).
It has been also suggested that exams that have been based on multiple-choice questions and the “open-book examinations” where the students may consult books and assessments based on assignments should be encouraged.
It has been suggested to leave it to the institutions whether they would like to conduct their examinations online. The committee wants the universities to maintain a distance that is more social.
The universities are suggested to accord 50 percent weightage of marks from the internal and continuous evaluation while the remaining 50% marks will be awarded on a performance-basis to the student for the previous semester examinations that have been conducted.
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The UGC Regulations regarding Online Courses
To facilitate the proper conduct of the educational courses through online media, the UGC gave the UGC (Online Courses or Programs) Regulations, 2018 (which is hence referred to as the “Online Course Regulations”) on July 4, 2018, which has laid down the minimum standards for the instructions related to the grant of Degree, Certificate or Diploma through online platform. It is supposed to be delivered through advanced technology to interact using the internet. Some of the popular features of the Regulations on online courses are given below:
Applicability: The provisions of the Online Course Regulations are applicable to Universities established under a Central Act, which are UGC recognized and provide the same higher education or research through online classes and distance learning. Online courses related to nursing, law, pharmacy, engineering, dentistry, medicine, and architecture are not allowed to be conducted online in the meantime.
The eligibility criteria for any educational institution have been given below. Any institution that has this eligibility is capable of conducting online courses as per regulations.
Should have been in existence for at least five years;
Should be recognized by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a minimum score of 3.26 and
Should be among the Top 100 as per the National Institutional Ranking Framework for at least two years since the previous three years.
Online Course Regulations
[Rule 5 & 6 Online Course Regulations]
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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - UGC Guidelines For Online Courses to pursue in 2021
Question: What is UGC?
UGC refers to the Universal Grants Commission, which is solely responsible for the funding of the educational institutions that are under the UGC as per the UGC Act, 1956. It is also responsible to provide norms and guidelines for the institutions to work in a more ethical way.
Question: What does the UGC primarily do?
The main objective of UGC is to maintain and develop the higher education system in India. It sets regulations and new UGC guidelines for online courses to properly guide the organizations, which are a part of this education system.
Question: What do we mean by UGC guidelines for online courses?
According to several situations and global scenarios, UGC suggests guidelines in order to help the colleges and universities to work properly.
Question: What do we mean by UGC regulations?
UGC regulations are such regulations, which are made considering all the higher educational institutions to work according to the current demanding situations. The institutes have to abide by these regulations.
Question: What is UGC regulations 2018?
The UGC regulations 2018 are some significant regulations given for online courses. It seeks to promote online courses in India through the Digital India campaign.
Question: Why is UGC promoting online courses recently?
Post the Covid-19 pandemic, seeing the surge in online learning and digital consumption, the UGC has been promoting online courses approved by them.
Question: What are the main concerns of the education system in India now?
The main concern of the education system is their inability to conduct classes as all educational institutes have been shut due to the pandemic.
Question: What are the major guidelines on online courses given by UGC?
The major guidelines by UGC are for the universities that are conducting online courses during this pandemic. UGC has also suggested precautionary measures for it.
Question: What is the popular online course to pursue in 2021?
The most popular course to pursue in 2021 is courses related to digital media.
Question: Which are online courses already been approved by UGC?
All short-term courses have been approved by the UGC.
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