1. News

UGC Latest Update: New Student Schemes & Regulations for Online Learning to Be Implemented Soon

The central government is set to roll out a slew of initiatives for students in the field of online education, and will also put out regulations for the same in the next one month, newly appointed University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar told in an interaction Wednesday.

Ayushi Raina
University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar also emphasized on the need of creating awareness among students about schemes such as Academic Bank of Credit (ABC)
University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar also emphasized on the need of creating awareness among students about schemes such as Academic Bank of Credit (ABC)

The central government is set to frame a slew of initiatives for students in the field of online education, and will also pull out regulations for the same, according to newly appointed University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar in an interview on Wednesday. 

He also emphasized on the need of creating awareness among students about schemes such as Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) and other initiatives that are being implemented for their benefit. 

 Kumar, a former vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), took over as head of the organization earlier this month that creates regulations for universities across India. 

Kumar, an IIT professor, also discussed the recently announced digital university and regulations for online learning, as well as how edtech companies may assist with this. 

"The government will launch initiatives for students in the field of online education in the next few months.  They all have to work together so that students can garner maximum benefit out of it,” he said.  

In terms of online education initiatives, he emphasized that the ABC scheme, as well as the digital university, must be widely implemented. 

What is ABC Scheme? 

The ABC scheme will assist students in obtaining tailor-made degrees, which means they will be able to pursue different courses from different universities and earn credits that may subsequently be redeemed to achieve a degree. The credits can be stored in the student's credit account, which functions similarly to a bank account. 

 Kumar believes that if colleges provide online courses, the ABC scheme would be more beneficial since students will have a wide range of options.

"It is an excellent scheme for students, and they should be made aware of such schemes so that they may benefit from them.  It will provide students with a great deal of flexibility when it comes to selecting courses. We need to create awareness through workshops and other means,” the UGC chairman said. 

He explained that the commission has already started holding meetings with several central and state universities to explain the implementation of ABC and to discuss online education with them. 

According to sources, the ABC scheme has not taken off yet since top-ranked institutions such as Delhi University, JNU, the IITs and IIMs among others are waiting for the Centre to come up with defined regulations for online education before moving on with scheme implementation. 

Asked about this, Kumar said: “For ABC to spread widely, we need to have defined rules for online education. We are internally discussing all these issues and will be ready with regulations for online education in the next one month.” 

No cut-off date for students enrolled in online programmes 

The government is attempting to significantly expand the market for online education through amendments in the UGC (Open and Distance Learning Programmes and Online Programmes) Regulations, 2020. 

"We are working on laws that will allow top-tier institutions to provide online courses beginning in the academic year 2022-23.  There will also be no cut-off for students to enroll in online programs. The minimum qualification will be Class 12 pass, on the basis of which students will be able to seek admission in their choice of course,” Jagadesh Kumar explained. 

"The regulations will also pave the way for the digital university, which we hope to establish using a hub-and-spoke model.  In this approach, several universities would serve as knowledge-sharing hubs," he added. 

The new UGC director also mentioned that once the digital university is established, edtech businesses would play a bigger role. The idea is that edtech companies can partner with education institutions and offer learning and examination support. 

"The edtech players will be able to participate significantly once the digital university is established . They can provide assistance in terms of resources, such as technology to provide live lectures and administer exams," he said. 

“The condition that we have for the edtech companies is that they should provide quality education and be affordable for students,” Kumar added. 

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters