Distance education degrees face UGC ban

Bhubaneswar: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has reimposed a ban on recognition of some professional degrees that are offered through the distance education mode by universities.

The UGC has, in a public notice issued February 11, termed such degrees as “misleading and in gross violation of the policy programmes in distance education”.
The recent move, which goes against the views of the Union ministry of human resource development, has put students pursuing such degrees in a fix. Many such students stand the risk of losing the years and the money they spent on such courses, which include engineering, hotel management and pharmacy.
The UGC move also goes against the recommendations of the Madhav Menon committee report that had earlier recommended that technical education be provided through distance education. The panel had said this was consistent with the National Educational Policy and should be allowed by using study material for the theory component, e-learning for interaction and compulsory practical component for development of required skills.
UGC has clarified that it has not given the go ahead to any institution to offer distance programmes in technical education and such degress acquired by a student shall not be eligible for employment in government services or for pursuing higher studies.
Experts from the field of education said that the reiteration of UGC over not recognising technical degrees reaffirms their earlier stand of not allowing degrees such as BTech and MTech through distance education.
“The move by the UGC is retrogressive in nature. Higher education in our country has been grappling with problems because of the adherence of policymakers to conventional methods,” said Ravi Bharadwaj, a legal expert on education matters. PNN

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