In pursuance to the announcement of one hundred days agenda of HRD of ministry by Hon’ble Human Resources development Minister, a New Policy on Distance Mastering In Larger Education Sector was drafted.
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 higher education for investigation, and scientific and technical institutions. Parliament has enacted laws for discharging this responsibility via: the University Grants Commission (UGC) for basic Greater Education, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for Technical Education and other Statutory bodies for other disciplines. As regards larger education, via the distance mode, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Act, 1985 was enacted with the following two prime objectives, amongst other individuals: (a) To offer possibilities for greater education to a huge segment of population, in particular disadvantaged groups living in remote and rural locations, adults, housewives and functioning people today and (b) to encourage Open University and Distance Education Systems in the educational pattern of the country and to coordinate and establish the requirements in such systems.
2. The history of distance mastering or education by way of distance mode in India, goes way back when the universities started supplying education by means of distance mode in the name of Correspondence Courses through their Directorate/College of Correspondence Education. In those days, the courses in humanities and/or in commerce have been provided through correspondence and taken by those, who, owing to various factors, such as limited number of seats in typical courses, employability, difficulties of access to the institutions of greater finding out and so forth., could not get themselves enrolled in the conventional `face-to-face’ mode `in-class’ programmes.
three. In the current previous, the demand for larger education has increased enormously all through the nation for the reason that of awareness about the significance of higher education, whereas the system of higher education could not accommodate this ever escalating demand.
4. Beneath the circumstances, a quantity 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 scenario by supplying distance education programmes in a substantial quantity of disciplines, ranging from humanities to engineering and management and so forth., and at different levels (certificate to below-graduate and post-graduate degrees). There is often a danger that some of these institutions may perhaps turn into `degree mills’ offering sub- standard/poor excellent education, consequently eroding the credibility of degrees and other qualifications awarded by way of the distance mode. Ed Tech Blog calls for a far higher degree of coordination among the concerned statutory authorities, primarily, 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 by way of the distance mode, for employment beneath it vide Gazette Notification No. 44 dated 1.three.1995.
six. Regardless of the dangers referred to in para 4 above, the significance of distance education in offering good quality education and coaching can not be ignored. Distance Mode of education has an essential role for:
(i)supplying chance of mastering to these, who do not have direct access to face to face teaching, operating persons, house-wives etc.
(ii)giving chance to functioning professionals to update their expertise, enabling them to switchover to new disciplines and professions and enhancing their qualifications for profession advancement.
(iii)exploiting the potential of Information and facts and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the teaching and mastering procedure and
(iv)achieving the target of 15% of GER by the finish of 11th Plan and 20% by the finish of 12th 5 year Program.
7. In order to discharge the Constitutional responsibility of determination and maintenance of the standards in Higher Education, by making sure coordination among numerous statutory regulatory authorities as also to assure the promotion of open and distance education method in the nation to meet the aspirations of all cross-sections of people today for larger education, the following policy in respect of distance understanding is laid down:
(a) In order to assure suitable coordination in regulation of requirements of greater education in different disciplines by way of various modes [i.e. face to face and distance] as also to assure credibility of degrees/diploma and certificates awarded by Indian Universities and other Education Institutes, an apex physique, namely, National Commission for Larger Education and Analysis shall be established in line with the recommendations of Prof. Yash Pal Committee/National Know-how Commission. A Standing Committee on Open and Distance
Education of the mentioned Commission, shall undertake the job of coordination, determination and upkeep of standards of education by means of the distance mode. Pending establishment of this body:
(i) Only those programmes, which do not involve substantial practical course work, shall be permissible by way of the distance mode.
(ii) Universities / institutions shall frame ordinances / regulations / rules, as the case could be, spelling out the outline of the programmes to be presented through the distance mode indicating the number of needed credits, list of courses with assigned credits, reading references in addition to self understanding 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 group of professionals, whose report shall be placed ahead of the Council of DEC for consideration.
(iv) The approval shall be given only soon after consideration by Council of DEC and not by Chairperson, DEC. For the purpose, minimum number of mandatory meetings of DEC may be prescribed.
(v) AICTE would be directed below section 20 (1) of AICTE Act 1987 to guarantee accreditation of the programmes in Computer Sciences, Information and facts Technology and Management purposed to be presented by an institute/university by means of the distance mode, by National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
(vi) UGC and AICTE would be directed under section 20 (1) of their respective Acts to frame detailed regulations prescribing requirements for various programmes/courses, provided by way of the distance mode beneath their mandate,