Up until now, private technical universities offered distance programmes without approvals.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) tasked the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to regulate the framework for technical education offered via distance mode. AICTE is to tighten the guidelines by March 2013.
As for now, private technical universities offered distance programmes without approvals. "The AICTE will prepare norms for distance education by March 2013," HRD minister MM Pallam Raju said. AICTE chairman S S Mantha added, "We are creating processes and based on that we would be coming up with the regulatory framework for the benefit of students."
In light of the new set of guidelines, the first year degree or diploma will have to be pursued via formal learning and the remaining through distance mode. The laboratory classes will have to be taken in person, said Mantha.
This strategic step would stop institutes from duping students with false claims and promises about their programmes and institutes, he said. The new accreditation body will also accredit the distance education.
“The Distance Education Council (DEC) under the IGNOU can no more regulate others and its powers will be put back to its original regulator which is UGC", said Ashok Thakur, Higher Education Secretary.
This move has been approved by the DEC and IGNOU, he said, also that the IGNOU act will be amended in accordance.
This development has taken a solid shape due o several petitions filed in courts challenging the IGNOU Act on the grounds that how can IGNOU award affiliations to other institutes, when it itself is one of them.