KU’s distance education unit can offer courses for next two years
Bringing an end to a two-year long uncertainty, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has accorded recognition to the School of Distance Education (SDE) of the University of Kerala. The institution has been permitted to offer programmes through the open and distance learning mode for the next two academic years, i.e., 2017-18 and 2018-19.
The development comes in the wake of an inspection conducted by an expert committee, constituted by the UGC, a few weeks ago. The apex body had withdrawn recognition for the SDE from the 2015-16 academic year.
The permission paves way for the SDE to offer 25 programmes, including B.A., M.A., B.Sc., M.Sc., BLISc, MLISc, BCA, B.Com and M.Com courses through the distance mode.
The permission comes with a set of terms and conditions, which the university has assured to comply with in an affidavit submitted to the UGC.
The SDE has not been permitted to offer any M.Phil/Ph.D. programme through the distance learning mode. In an apparent reference to the learner-support centres which were shut down, the UGC has forbid offering programmes through franchising arrangement or through any private institution.
The university has also been directed to ensure at least one full-time faculty member exclusively for coordinating each programme at the headquarters of the SDE.
The institution will be able to run its programmes only in those subjects which are offered by it through regular mode. No online programme leading to an award of degree or certificate shall be offered by the university, until a policy is framed and approved by the UGC in this regard.
The SDE has been instructed to strictly adhere to a direction by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development which bars B.E./B.Tech programmes through the distance mode.
The institution’s management of the programmes and their academic norms shall be monitored and will be open for review by the UGC. The apex body has warned the university against failing to comply with the conditions for recognition. Any such scenario will lead to the withdrawal of the recognition, the UGC has stated in a letter sent to the University Registrar.