Soon students of India will be able to get online degree from top-notch Universities.
While interacting with the media in New Delhi, Prakash Javedkar, Minister of Human Resource Development, said that nearly 15% universities will be able to offer online degree. This universities will include has high National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) score of 3.6 and above out of 4 . However, the nature of degree will be non-technical. This implies that degree offered by Universities should not include engineering and medicine.
On the other hand, Higher Education Secretary said that the rules are yet to be finalized and in a month or so UGC will complete the process. Only Universities with A+ Grade from NAAC will be able to offer online degrees. However, other Universities willing to offer such degree will be provided a window of 2 years to become A+ Grade in NAAC accreditation.
Javadekar said, it will provide opportunity to all such people who want to get degree and earn certificates but are unable to enroll for regular courses. He also said that latest technology will be used to boost higher level not just for students but also for working executives. Thus, they will be able to study and get their hands on degree without the need of travel.
Challenges in Online Degree
Looking at the current education system, this policy will face 3 major challenges.
- It will be in direct conflict with distance education. An official from MHRD told the media that regulations will seperate online degree from that of open or distance learning. Online degree will not be subject to territorial jurisdiction.
- Execution of the program will be a difficult task.
- Evaluation of students is going to be a complicated work.
Online degree could be provided to the students even staying beyond state boundaries if offered by state university. According to current rules, no university can provide distance learning to the students who are outside the state boundaries. Only few Universities with good rank will be allowed to offer online degrees thus helping manage the quality of education.
Javadekar made a statement that government wants to improve Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education. Currently, education ration is approximately 25% which is targeted to increase to 32% within 5 years. With online education enrollment figures are expected to improve.