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HRD asks CBI to probe how banned deemed universities were offering courses in distance mode

The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe how four deemed universities were able to offer engineering courses in distance education mode and were awarded post facto approval by the University Grants Commission (UGC), sources said on Tuesday.

JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth and Advanced Studies in Education in Rajasthan, the Allahabad Agricultural Institute and Vinayaka Mission’s Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu had been offering these courses without necessary approvals from the UGC and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

Last month, the top court had suspended the degrees awarded by the four universities between 2001 and 2005 and cancelled the degrees awarded issued after 2005. Degree holders from the 2001-05 batches will have to take a test by the AICTE to prove their proficiency and retain their degrees. This test is likely to be conducted in May/June.

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STUDENTS CAN OPT FOR FULLY ONLINE DEGREE COURSES SOON

NEWDELHI: Students and working professionals will soon be able to obtain a degree online and it will be recognised by higher education regulator, the University Grants Commission. The human resource development ministry has decided to allow universities to offer such degrees and is drafting rules, official sources told a leading newspaper.

Once the rules are in place, institutes will be able to offer online degrees in all fields, except engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture and physiotherapy.

At present, the commission does not recognise any course offered solely through the online mode. A student can get a degree by enrolling in a university and attending classes or through a distance-learning module. From this year, the government has allowed universities to offer 20% of their course material through the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) platform called Swayam. But if a student gets a degree through any online course, it’s not recognised. A number of private universities offer online degrees but not many students opt for them as they are not recognised by the UGC.

 

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