When the issue of external students’ admission at the University of Pune is raging, it is learnt that the varsity is contemplating to start a distance education programme.
Officials at the varsity said that a proposal in this regard has been sent to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry.
Experts say that if the proposal is approved, it can be both advantageous and disadvantageous for the students.
External students programme: In the current external students programme, students are given the syllabus and are left to scout for the notes on their own.
Distance edu programme: In distance learning courses, by paying some extra money, students can get the study material at the doorsteps.
External students programme: The students have no options to attend classes and have to depend on private tutors.
Distance edu programme: Students stand a chance to attend weekend or guest lectures. They have to also appear for the examinations once a year.
External students programme: The degree certificate is similar to that issued to a student attending full-time courses. On the marksheet or the certificate, it is not mentioned whether the degree is taken externally.
Distance edu programme: It is mentioned in the certificate that the course has been completed through distance learning.
An UoP official said that the university has decided to continue the external under-graduate course with the annual pattern as per the recommendations of Nikam Committee which was set up to decide the fate of the external courses at the varsity.
“The decision to continue with the UG externally will be formally declared in the special management meeting to be held on Saturday,” said the official.
“However, the decision regarding the external post-graduate courses will be taken in a meeting to be convened on September 17,” he added.
There is tremendous pressure from the state government and University Grants Commission (UGC) to introduce credit system for these courses to maintain the quality.
“If we have to introduce the credit system, then we will have to do continuous assessment and hence running courses externally will not be possible then. Hence, we are hoping that the distance education proposal would be approved and come to force by the next academic year,” said the official.
Nikam Committee for UG courses recommends:
UoP and colleges will share 50 per cent share in financial transactions and students responsibility. Every college will get a quota for the students, but the exam centres will be decided by the varsity. To decide the exam centre, it will take consent from the teaching and non-teaching faculty.
Annual pattern of examination as against the semester pattern
Administration and eligibility will be decided by the university
Decision on post-graduate courses to be taken on September 17