The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has revised its earlier guidelines on offering courses in online and distance mode to extend the limit of the number of students who can enroll in a given course. As per the guidelines shared earlier this month, the maximum intake allowed for each course offered in online or open or distance mode by AICTE-affiliated institutes was three times the sanctioned intake of a specific programme in conventional or regular mode. Now, the number of learners who can take part in an online course will be at per with the UGC’s open and distance learning mode and online learning mode guidelines.
Under UGC’s guidelines, there are no restrictions in the capacity of intake in open and distance learning programme at the Learning Support Centre or Study Centre and Main campus. “The capacity of intake per programme should be commensurate with the available qualified faculty in the relevant area, well-equipped laboratory, library, online connectivity and Information, and Communication Technology facilities, and appropriate infrastructure, along with the following,” the UGC said, however, for dual degree programmes the capacity is up to three times the traditional intake. The same rules will now be applicable for the AICTE-affiliated institutes as well.
AICTE had earlier allowed institutes having NAAC score of 3.26 and above, NBA score of 700, or universities that had obtained a position in the top-100 in NIRF at least twice in three preceding cycles were allowed to start full-fledged ODL courses and online courses in the field of Management and allied areas, Computer Applications, Artificial Intelligence, and data science, logistics and travel and tourism without prior approval of the AICTE. As per the revised guidelines, “these institutions are required to submit all relevant data regarding faculty, students, and affidavit on AICTE portal annually by registering on it.”
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 suggests online courses as one of the key parameters to increasing the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER).