Agriculture World

Alert!! UGC Prohibits Distance Learning Degree Programmes in Agriculture

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo
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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has banned teaching distance degree programmes in agriculture. The higher education regulator took the decision at its recent meeting for the reason that a degree programme in agriculture is technical in nature because it requires practicals or laboratory courses.

A senior commission official said, "The Union agriculture ministry had referred the issue to the commission, urging it to consider banning universities from offering Open & Distance Learning (ODL) degree programmes in agriculture."

According to UGC Open & Distance Learning Regulations 2017, professional programmes like medicine, architecture, pharmacy engineering, nursing, dental and physiotherapy, are not allowed to be offered in distance mode.

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The official said in order to protect the interest of students already registered in agriculture degree programme, the ICAR (Indian Council of Agriculture Research) has been asked to hand-hold such higher education institutions. But, no new enrolments will be allowed from the 2019 academic session."

IGNOU, Annamalai University, Nalanada Open University, Kuvempu University and Yashwant Rao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU) are among the institutions that offer degree as well as diploma programmes in agriculture science.

The UGC is a statutory body established by the Union government India in accordance to the University Grants Commission Act 1956 under Human Resource Development Ministry. It coordinates and maintains standards of higher education in the country.

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