This is indeed a good news for the entire student community in India as they can now take an online degree from Indian Universities. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved the UGC (Online Courses) Regulations, 2018. This landmark decision to offer online degree courses in India will help countless learners to gain a valid online degree thus benefiting students and working professionals.

Hon. HRD Minister Shri. Prakash Javdekar tweeted, “In a landmark reform in the field of Higher Education, University Grants Commission has approved UGC (Online Courses) Regulations. There was no such regulations earlier”.

Higher educational institutes in India that fulfills all UGC stipulated criteria can now offer certificate, diploma and degree level courses in fully online mode. All courses except courses having practical component such as engineering or medicine can now be offered in fully online mode.

Some of the benefits of these online degrees are:

  • Students who don’t have access to regular courses in colleges can now opt for online degree courses.
  • Working professionals can upgrade themselves by enrolling for these online degrees.
  • Institutes can enhance their reach and enroll more students through the online degree courses.
  • India can increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education.
  • Anytime, anywhere flexible learning will be possible for the students enrolled in these online courses.
  • More number of students can now get a degree from a top-tier institute that offers online courses.
  • Students can learn and get online degrees at a much reduced price compared to their regular conterpart.

Some of the challenges of offering online degrees in India are:

  • High speed broadband connectivity should reach students in villages and remote places.
  • Institutes should be willing to invest in technology and manpower to offer quality online courses.
  • Faculty should be trained in digital course creation, online instructional design and pedagogy.
  • The negative perception about online degrees should change.

UGC has earlier approved offering of MOOC courses for the students studying regular courses through the SWAYAM (Study Web of Active Learning by Young and Aspiring Minds) platform. This regulation is known as the UGC (Credit Framework for Online Learning Courses through SWAYAM) Regulation, 2016.

We congratulate the Indian government and UGC for taking this bold and much awaited decision that will benefit the students, institutes and our country. Let the top-tier institutes now come forward and design the best online learning experience for our students that will be efficient, effective and engaging.