UGC extends application deadline for Open and Distance Learning courses


Kolhapur: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has extended the application deadline for Open and Distance Learning (ODL) courses. The last date for submitting applications for academic year begining from July 2018 has been extended from September 23 to October 31.

In a circular, dater September 19, the UGC stated that the institutes offering the ODL courses should take a note of the changes.

Earlier, the circular from UGC secretary on July 28 this year, said that all the eligible Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) have to send the applications for offering ODL programs from the academic session in July 2018. The online portal for submitting applications has been opened on August 7. The circular added that the hard copies of the applications shall reach at the UGC's New Delhi based office within 10 days of submission of online application.

Experts in the field of education have hailed the ODL regulations laid down by UGC and said that this will help HEIs to offer better courses. Sattappa Mohite, a city based education activist said that that the distance learning courses will be streamlined with the new guidelines.

It has to be noted that earlier this year, the UGC had asked all the institutions offering distance learning courses to seek fresh approval for the courses offered. In a public notice, dated June 29, it was said that UGC (open and distance learning) regulations, 2017 are needed to be complied in order to run the distance programs.

According to the UGC, minimum standards of instructions have been laid down in the 2017 regulations and hence the institutes offering distance learning courses, need to seek fresh approval for the same.

The notice further reads, "The higher educational institutions (HEIs) approved for 2017-18 have been permitted to offer approved open and distance learning programs for academic year 2017-18. Such HEIs will be required to apply afresh in the prescribed format as per the UGC regulations 2017 for consideration."