The University Grants Commission (UGC) has prohibited the universities from carrying a list of courses in distance mode. In the latest circular, the commission has asked higher education institutes (HEIs) not to grant degrees in ‘professional’ courses under distance or open learning mode. While the rule was in place earlier as well, in the recent 538th meeting of UGC, the number of courses under the ambit of ‘professional’ was extended.
As per the new rules, agriculture and related courses will also be considered professional and institutes cannot deliver degree programmes in the field in open or distance mode anymore. Under the new rule, many institutes will have to shut their courses or tweak the degree programme.
Among HEIs across the country, famous institutes that currently provide distance mode degrees in agriculture are Nasik-based Yashwant Rao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU), Annamalai University, IGNOU, Kuvempu University and Nalanda Open University.