UGC defers implementation of ODL regulations from this year


The University Grants Commission (UGC) has deferred implementation of its regulations for open and distance learning (ODL) programmes from this year.

Issuing a fresh notification, the higher education regulator has said the UGC (Open and Distance Learning) Regulations, 2017 will become effective from 2018-19 session.

The course correction comes after it was noted that immediate implementation of the regulations from the date of its notification in June this year would technically render invalid all the ODL programmes being offered by various higher educational institutions in case they do not seek fresh recognition from the UGC.

Stalling of new admissions to the approved ODL programmes in the academic session of 2017-18 was another immediate consequence of the implementation of the regulations.

Many of the Universities and other higher educational institutions, which had just got UGC's approval to their ODL programmes in the month of May-June, found themselves in a catch-22 situation as the ODL Regulations of the regulator mandatorily required them to make a fresh application for obtaining approval to their ODL courses.

“The process for admission for the year 2017-18 by the universities/institutions is ongoing. Keeping in view the para 3, sub-para (1) of Part-II of the said Regulations, it has been decided that the UGC (Open and Distance learning) Regulations, 2017 will be operationalised from the year 2018-19,” the higher education regulator said, issuing a fresh notification late on Monday evening.

The UGC notified the ODL Regulations, 2017 in an official gazette on June 23. “Every Higher Educational Institution offering a programme in ODL mode in pursuance of an approval granted to it for the purpose by the then Distance Education Council or by the Commission or by any other regulatory authority or intending to offer a programme in ODL mode from the academic session immediately after the notification of these regulations shall, for grant of recognition, make an application to the Commission,” para 3, sub-para (1) of Part-II of the UGC Regulations stipulate.

By Prakash Kumar