Soon Indian’s will be able to get online degree from top-notch Universities. They will be able to learn and grow their knowledge anywhere and anytime.

While interacting with the media after capper of 65th Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) meet in New Delhi, Prakash Javedkar, Minister of Human Resource Development, said that nearly 15% universities which has high National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) score of 3.6 and above out of 4 will be able to offer online degrees. However, the nature of degree will be non-technical. This implies that degree offered by Universities should not include engineering and medicine.

Course structure of such online degrees will be approved by UGC. Moreover, online lectures, discussion, tutorials will be done along with weekly online discussion forum. This will be a place where all the enrolled candidates will be able to ask queries and clear their doubts. After every 6 months or 1 year duration, online examinations will be conducted and all the passed candidates will be awarded certificates.

On the other hand Kewal Kumar, Higher Education Secretary said that the rules are yet to be finalized and in a month or so UGC will complete the process. Only Universities with A+ Grade from NAAC will be able to offer online degrees. However, other Universities willing to offer such degree will be provided a window of 2 years to become A+ Grade in NAAC accreditation.

According to Javadekar, it will provide opportunity to all such people who want to get degree and earn certificates but are unable to enroll for regular courses. Adding this, he also said that latest technology will be used to boost higher level not just for students but also for working executives. Thus, they will be able to study and get their hands on degree without the need of travel.

Looking at the current education system, this policy will face 3 major challenges. First one being, it will be in direct conflict with distance education. An official from MHRD told the media that regulations will seperate online degree from that of open or distance learning. Online degree will not be subject to territorial jurisdiction of the concerned Universities but will be free from such impulsions. Secondly, online education has not be a major success worldwide. Thus making it workable will be a difficult task. Third one is the evaluation of students. This is going to be a complicated work.

Online degree could be provided to the students even staying beyond state boundaries, incase if it is being offered by state university. According to current rules, no university can provide distance learning to the students who are outside the state boundaries. Adding to this, Minister 

also said that only few Universities with good rank will be allowed to offer online degrees and this will definitely help in managing the quality of education.

Javadekar made a statement that government wants to improve Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education. Currently, education ration is approximately 25% which is targeted to increase to 32% within 5 years. With online education enrolment figures are expected to improve.

According to the analysis of 2016-17, it was found that India had over 40,000 colleges along with 11,669 stand alone institutions and 864 Universities. Number of students enrolled were more than  35.7 million.

A question was asked to the Minister that why government is pushing more people to go for higher education rather than making attempts for quality and skill based education? In reply to the question he said that our government is working hard to improve employability factor and good news is going to follow soon.

Many people are not in favor of the move made by government as they believe that online education is going to increase GER but will degrade the education quality.

What do you think about this new concept of government to introduce online degree? Let us know your views in comment section below.

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