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UGC, continuing with its somersault relating to Ph.D Degrees in Distance Education Mode and in another snub to HRD Ministry has clarified that acquisition of doctorate degree from distance is not to be considered as valid academic degree. It has also further proceeded to clarify that Ph.D. degrees pursued in regular mode only be considered as valid.

In the year 2009, UGC passed Regulations barring PhD Degrees in Distance Education Mode. However, there was widespread protests by various universities. protesting the ban on the ground that their respective laws, passed by Parliament or legislatures, allowed them to offer such courses.

Therefore, in the year 2011, UGC in its decided that an Open University may be permitted to conduct M.Phil./Ph.D. programmes through distance education mode subject to the condition that it does so strictly as per the provisions of the UGC Regulations, 2009 and the principal guide should be from within the Open University and a joint guide, wherever necessary, may be from outside the University. Accordingly, it also decided to make required amendments in the UGC Regulations, 2009.

However, in the year 2016, UGC notified University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of M.PHIL./PH.D Degrees) Regulations, 2016 and in supersession of 2009 Regulations, clarified that no University; Institution, Deemed to be a University and College shall conduct M.Phil. and Ph.D. Programmes through distance education mode.
Later it was widely reported in media in August 2016 that the Centre has lifted the ban on open universities offering MPhil and PhD programmes in non-technical subjects through distance learning mode, thus allowing more students to acquire the qualifications through UGC-approved institutions.

Now this clarification has again, overruling all earlier decision and making it clear that Ph.D acquired only through regular mode will be valid.

UGC has further clarified Regular Mode Ph.D Degrees either to be pursued full time or part time to be treated as valid degrees.

EduLegaL View:

I fail to understand the discrimination between conventional mode of education and distance education mode. Discrimination in technical subjects may be understandable but discrimination for non-technical course fails the test of reasoning and rationale.

Distance Education, in country like India should be allowed to have level playing field and this will immensely help in contributing to the CAGR target so also the research quotient. I think the policy makers have again got wrong this time.

Ravi Bhardwaj

Education Laws | Distance Education | Law and Policy

edulegal, ravi bhardwaj, distance education, ugc, education news, education law, phd, mphil, regular mode

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