AICTE to frame guidelines for distance education

The human resource development (HRD) ministry has tasked the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to create a regulatory framework for technical education offered through the distance mode.AICTE is expected to firm up the guidelines by March 2013.


At present,private technical universities run distance programmes without approval.The AICTE will prepare norms for distance education by March 2013, HRD minister M M 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.
Under the new set of guidelines,the first year degree or diploma will have to be pursued through formal learning and the rest through the distance mode.The laboratory classes have to be taken face-to-face,Mantha said.
The move would stop institutes from duping students with false claims about their programmes and institutes,he said.The new accreditation body will also accredit the distance education.
Meanwhile,in a related development,the ministry has decided to once again empower UGC to regulate distance education system and determine its standards.The Distance Education Council under IGNOU can no more regulate others and its "powers will be put back to its original regulator which is UGC",higher education secretary Ashok Thakur said.The move has received the nod of DEC and IGNOU,he said,adding the IGNOU Act will be amended accordingly
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