Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Students opting for courses online may soon get degrees from the University Grants Commission (UGC). Under its new draft of regulations for Online Education, the UGC is mulling over offering degrees for online courses and is seeking public feedback over the same which can be given by August 18.

The new regulations will be helpful for students and even executives to get UGC recognised degrees online. Except for engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture and physiotherapy, the institutes offering online courses can offer degrees in all fields.

Though fully online courses are not recognised by UGC, the Commission awards degrees for distance-education courses of various universities. With the launch of the platform Swayam from this year, universities began to offer 20% of their course material through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Even the degree courses offered by private institutions and varsities are not recognised by UGC at present.

As per HT reports, the draft states, “Institutions may design, develop and deliver online programmes leading to the award of a degree or diploma via internet, once recognised…The programmes may be designed for conventional learners, as well as working professionals and other individuals aspiring to acquire knowledge and associated academic credentials. The delivery process shall be conducted online via a suitably designed online technology platform.”

Universities and higher educational institutes may offer degrees by conducting exams online, state the regulations. While online classes will be enough and students will not need to physically attend classes to qualify, a university has to be NAAC-accredited with a minimum score of 3.25 on a four-point scale. Using Aadhaar biometric authentication of each student and online supervision with computer screen capture and CCTV recording, students may give exams online or may be given options to appear for exams on campus of higher educational institutions.