The University Grants Commission (UGC) has agreed to relax its distant learning regulations for Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), which offers open and distance learning programmes in various streams, reports Deccan Herald.
The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has reportedly been requested to issue a directive to keep the open-university outside the ambit of UGC (open and distance learning) Regulations, 2017 as a special case.
Taking note of the contributions made by IGNOU “in various areas of national importance and relevance” by providing “quality” distance education with an outreach across the country, the UGC has reportedly agreed to relax its norms.
The UGC and IGNOU had a difference of opinion over mandatory requirement to seek approval of the respective regulators including All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for offering professional courses such as MBA and MCA in the open distance-learning mode.
The board of management (BoM) of the IGNOU in 2016, however, resumed its M Phil and PhD programmes from the academic session of 2017-18 despite the UGC’s ban.
The open-university, since then, had been demanding for amendments in the UGC regulations to enable it to offer the two programmes in distance education.
“Considering all the factors, the commission suggested that HRD ministry should be requested to issue a direction thereby keeping the IGNOU outside the ambit of the UGC (open and distance learning) Regulations, 2017,” an official was quoted in the report as saying.