Online courses in India strangled by UGC despite ban-lift in 2018

When the Modi government came into power, in 2015, it abolished the online education system in the country. Gradually, as India progressed under the ‘Digital India’ campaign, online education has now been reinstated in 2018.

University Grants Commission (UGC) has authorized universities to start providing degrees based on online courses. However, stringent and difficult conditions have choked the e-learning concept in the country.

Indians have been heavily in favor of online courses and online degrees. The growing number of Indians opting for courses at Coursera, Unacademy, EdX and other such global e-learning sites is the best example to show for it. India’s very own Byju’s is a $5.5 billion firm today and apparently is the most valuable ed-tech company in the whole world.

In today’s economy, when the country is suffering from a lack of jobs, higher costs of education, one can’t afford to simply drop out of their earning jobs to get graduation or post-graduation. The market is changing tremendously and it is necessary to give people the freedom and comfort of education from their homes.

The 2015 ban on online education was one of the most surprising and shocking decisions by the government. On one side, everything was getting digitized and on the other hand, digital education was banned. The ban was a result of several fraudulent organizations started handing out degrees to students. But there are so many similar mishappening in offline education too. 

Online courses need to meet high expectations of UGC

As UGC realized its mistake last year, it altered the ban. UGC has now encouraged the universities to let students take online courses for degrees but so far no university has been able to. The new laws and conditions set up by the UGC are extremely tough and stringent. Out of 35 universities that have applied for online courses, zero have got the clearance.

Everything has been pre-decided in the new guidelines, the length of the course, its commencement and its culmination.

This is totally the opposite of what is provided in EdX or Coursera. New layers of verification have been added, even for courses from EdX. When the ultimate idea is to ease access to education in the country, UGC seems to be working totally in a different direction.