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Soon degree programmes to be available online

According to senior officials in the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), only institutions that have a NAAC ranking of A+ and A++ will be able to run these courses.

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Prakash Javadekar
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Students aspiring to pursue a degree or a diploma course from a university located far away will soon be able to do via online courses. Central government is set to issue guidelines for providing three-year degree programmes through online mode; these courses will be treated at par with regular courses.

According to senior officials in the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), only institutions that have a NAAC ranking of A+ and A++ will be able to run these courses.

This will be the first time that the HRD Ministry will come up with regulations for online education. Some institutions are currently running online courses, but these are mostly short-term courses and certificate courses.

"One the guidelines are issued, only institutions that have higher NAAC accreditation will be able to run online courses. This will be only around 15 per cent of the institutes. Those that do not match up to the standards, will be given a two-year window to either improve their NAAC ranking or shut the course," a senior official in the ministry said.

Exams for these courses will be conducted online, but the format will be decided by the respective universities.

This move is aimed at increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education from the current 25 per cent to 30-32 per cent in the coming years.

Among other plans of the government, are construction of more colleges where college density is low, like Bihar. This decision was taken in the meeting of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) that concluded on Tuesday.

"We will make all out efforts to increase GER by opening new Universities, colleges using infrastructure more productively and using ODL and online education," HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

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