Chennai: Bringing a major relief to prominent universities including University of Madras, Tamil Nadu Open University, Anna University which offer courses through distance mode, the University Grants Commission has given its recognition to a majority of the courses offered in these institutions on Wednesday.
It also gave its approval to conduct 15 courses of Tamil University and five courses of SRM Institute of Science and Technology (deemed university). In the previous list, the UGC has recognised only three distance education courses out of fifty-three programmes in Madras University and one course out of three at Anna University.
“The decision has brought huge relief as Institute of Distance Education (IDE) is one of our main revenue sources. These 35 courses cover 93% enrollment in IDE,” said P.Duraisamy, Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras.
The university did not expect the UGC's decision as it had fulfilled several conditions including introducing the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) to distance education programmes. After finding out that UGC did not give the approval for 50 distance education programmes citing the shortage of faculty members, the university administration has taken the issue seriously and took corrective measures by transferring faculty members from regular departments to IDE.
As per UGC regulations, there should be a minimum of two faculty members - one associate professor and one assistant professor for each course.
“Now, we have got the approval for five years and we can invest more to improve our IDE programmes. We will also recruit full-time faculty members for IDE,” Mr.Duraisamy said.
When asked why the university did not seek recognition for remaining courses in the second attempt, he said, “These courses are having poor enrollment and in some language courses have students in single digits. It would not be viable to offer them through distance mode.”
It has introduced mobility from regular courses to distance education programmes and from distance education programmes to regular courses. The university is also likely to launch online courses from next academic year.
Tamil Nadu Open University gets recognition to 82 distance education courses. It had initially got recognition for only 38 courses and now, the UGC has given recognition to 44 courses additionally.
“The university has already started the admission and we have admitted around one lakh students. The admission for additional courses will commence from Thursday,” sources said.
Anna University has additionally got approval for two more courses MBA and MCA in the revised list. “Students are joining more in these two courses alone. Following the AICTE's letter, the UGC has allowed all the state universities and central universities to conduct these two programmes,” they said.
Around 2000 students are enrolling in three courses every year....