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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE) has issued Open and Distance Learning Education and Online Education) Guidelines, 2021 through a gazette notification.

Earlier, the AICTE had issued the guidelines in 2019 for imparting education through Open and Distance Learning(ODL) mode by Standalone Institutions and Institutions-Deemed to be Universities.

The guidelines were subsequently amended in 2020 so as to bring in conformity with UGC (Open and Distance Learning) Regulations, 2017 & UGC Regulations, 2018.

As the new National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 has laid emphasis on increasing Gross Enrolment Ratio(GER) through the use of technology and ICT, AICTE has framed comprehensive Guidelines for imparting education through ODL & Online mode to fulfil the objectives of NEP-2020.

These guidelines applicable for higher educational institutions, Standalone Institutions, Institutions-Deemed to be Universities and Universities for conducting courses of technical education in the field of Management and allied areas, Computer Applications, Artificial Intelligence and Data Science in the Engineering & Technology domain, Logistics and Travel & Tourism, through Open and Distance Learning and / or Online (ODL-Online) Education mode in line with the UGC (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020.

Recognition of Institutions for open and distance learning (ODL) mode and online programmes:

Institutional Level Eligibility Criteria: Any Institution, may apply for offering programmes through the Open and Distance Learning mode and / or Online mode, which fulfils the following conditions, namely;

(a) Institutions having NAAC score of 3.26 and above on a scale of 4 or NBA Score of 700 on a scale of 1000 or having rank in Top-100 in University category of National Institutional Ranking Framework, at least twice in three preceding cycles (at the time of application), shall be permitted to start full-fledged ODL courses and / or

Online courses without prior approval of the AICTE only in the NBA accredited programmes, provided it satisfies all the conditions mentioned in these regulations:

Provided also that Institutions shall be required to submit application and desired information, and comply to all the provisions of the Guidelines and shall be required to submit an affidavit to the AICTE

(b) Any Institution, may apply for offering programmes through the ODL mode and / or Online mode, which fulfils the following conditions, shall be in existence for at least five years; and

(i) shall be accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council with minimum score of 3.01 on a 4-point scale; or

(ii) NBA accreditation with at least 650 points on a scale of 1,000 or

(iii) shall be in the top-100 in the University category in the National Institutional Ranking Framework for at least twice in last three preceding cycles (at the time of application).

Institution has to acquire NBA Accreditation with a minimum score of 650 points on a scale of 1000 in next 2-years from the date of initial approval.

Programmes Approval Process:

An Institution intending to offer a programme through ODL mode and/or Online mode for academic session and for subsequent years, shall make an online application, as and when invited by the AICTE.

The institutions shall submit an affidavit to the AICTE mentioning that they shall comply to provisions of these Guidelines prior to the beginning of next academic session from the notification of these regulations.

The AICTE shall examine the application with the help of an Expert Committee constituted by the Council and the recommendations of the Committee shall be placed before the EC/Council for its consideration.

Visit the official AICTE website for more details. Click here for the notification.

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