New Delhi, University Grant Commission (UGC) policy of Territorial Jurisdiction got controversial between Online & Distance Learning institutions and UGC. The issue came in highlighted when NMIMS took UGC to Court arguing that UGC policy is against NEP’s enhancement to ODL. Recently UGC has released guidelines relating to criteria for Deemed to be Universities.
In The Indian Express, in an editorial by Ashok Thakur (former Secretary of Education, Government of India) in coordination with SS Mantha (Former Chairman of AICTE) brought this issue in the light today. The controversy took place when the famous Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) was inspected by UGC. The institute is Certified as Deemed to be University by the government and ranked 51st in the Management Category. UGC has filed an affidavit in the court and claimed that NMIMS has constructed its sub-campuses at several places without any permission. And this act is the violence of UGC policy’s ‘Territorial and Jurisdiction’. All Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) and Online Distance Learning institutions will have to follow the rule.
On the other hand, an argument arose – because of this regulation several regular universities have lost their learning centers outside their state. Bhartiar University in Coimbatore had to lose its 450 franchises. The artificial restrictions are like barricading the idea of open learning education in the age of technology. In educational institutions, demand for a number of seats is on the rise yet stopping an alternative like ODL will be proved a mistake in India. NEP 2020 allows to open online & Distance Learning modes of education. But UGC’s policy seems to be against NEP 2020.
Recently UGC has released a guideline relating to the criteria for Deemed to be Universities. The regulation makes it mandatory for deemed universities “The institutions can offer twinning programs, joint degree programs, and dual degree programs in accordance with the provisions stipulated in the regulations concerned”. The UGC chairman, Jgadesh Mamidala has stated during launch of guidelines “The 2023 guidelines are in tune with NEP 2020 and they are ‘light but tight’ ”