The University Grants Commission (UGC) has prohibited varsities from teaching several courses in the distance mode as they are ‘professional’. These include engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, physiotherapy and agriculture.
This was done after the number of courses under the ambit of ‘professional’ was extended in the 538th meeting of UGC. This means that many institutes need to shut down their online programmes on the mentioned subjects or tweak them likewise to meet the guidelines.
Universities like Yashwant Rao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU), Annamalai University, IGNOU, Kuvempu University and Nalanda Open University offer distance mode degrees in agriculture.
A UGC official told PTI that “To protect the interest of the students already enrolled to the agriculture degree programme; the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) has been requested for hand-holding of such higher education institutions. However, no new enrolments will be permitted from the 2019 academic session.”