While Distance Learning doesn’t make it possible for you to enjoy the student life and conviviality of being on a campus, it certainly allows you to continue your learning around your professional and family life. Besides making it possible for you to fit your learning around everything else, there is a lot more to Distance Learning and the benefits offered by it for freshers and professionals.
Distance learning degrees offer a variety of benefits. Besides saving a lot of time, the distance learning programs offer a cheaper option for higher education. They also make it possible for students located in the far-off regions to pursue the course of their interest and thus, advance in their careers.
After the announcement made by University Grants Commission (UGC) regarding the minimum CGPA requirement of 3.26 on a scale of 4 to run distance education and online courses, the universities offering distance education courses are in a fix.
Affected by the move made by the UGC, several universities approached the Higher Education Department asking for the relaxation of norms. Considering the plight of affected universities, the Higher Education Department has urged UGC to relax norms so as to make it possible for state universities to run distance education and online courses. It also directed the affected seven universities to make separate representations to UGC as well.
Distance Education: Emergence and Trends
After independence, India had gained colossal ground in the field of education, which was, however, basically quantitative in nature. In prior days, teaching was accessible just to the elites in the public arena, and a huge greater part of poor and under-estimated individuals stayed unskilled. Political contemplations have a vital part in the development of advanced education, particularly at the state level. The state government experienced enormous weight from the general population to build up more universities and colleges. In a vote based society, even the solid governments think that it is extremely hard to oppose such pressures and are propelled to succumb to the same. These contemplations have prompted quick extension of advanced education in our nation, which thusly, have antagonistic effect upon its quality. Hence, keeping in mind the end goal to guarantee access and training of a sensibly decent quality, we must think about some option framework fit for supplementing the part of ordinary framework, and Distance Education is one of such options in today’s India.
Sikkim Manipal University
Sikkim Manipal University is a co-educational, public-private, funded university situated in Gangtok, Sikkim. Sikkim Manipal University was founded in the year 1995 and is recognized to be the first P3 educational and health care initiative in the Sikkim region. The University was established under the Sikkim Manipal University of Health, Medical and Technological Sciences Act (Act No. 10 of 1995). Sikkim Manipal University owns two campuses; one is the Medical Campus and the other one is the Technical Campus. The University is one of the most recognized private universities in India and is preferred by several students from various parts of the country. University Grants Commission has recognized Sikkim Manipal University under Section 2(f) of the UGC Act. So, the University is approved by the Government of India.
GST Impact on Distance Learning Higher Education
The importance of education in India can’t be underestimated due to the majority of the population below 25 years of age. Due to the large base of population and poverty Education should be easily available at less cost but because of implementation of GST (Goods and Service Tax) the regular higher education has been made costly and the same impact is replicating in Distance Education.
Deemed universities are not allowed to run Distance Learning from 2018-2019 and to remove “University” Tag.
UGC (University Grants Commission), the higher education authority, has asked around 123 deemed-to-be Universities to remove the word ‘University’ from their names. This news came in when a letter dated 10th November by UGC suggested dropping the name for such institutes. According to the order dated 3rd November, 2017, Supreme Court has announced the deemed universities not to use ‘University’ word and stop using the name within one month’s time. It is also said that it is in violation of Section 23 of the UGC Act. The court also announced that no deemed-to-be-university can run open and distant learning courses from the next academic year 2018-19 without prior approval of the regulatory authorities and ordered a CBI probe into granting of retrospective approvals to four of the below mentioned universities. Beside this, UGC has also directed to take proper steps for the implementation of Section 23 of the UGC Act, 1956. The students who have secured engineering degrees since 2001 via correspondence are also said to be invalid by the Supreme Court. These institutes include JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Institute of Advanced Studies in Education in Rajasthan, Allahabad Agricultural Institute and Vinayaka Mission Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu.