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The All India Council for Technical Education is set to allow technical education in distance learning mode from 2013.
Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister M M Pallam Raju made an announcement to this effect here on Friday. “A move is on to bring distance education in the country under a proper regulatory frame work and the AICTE will come up with a set of guidelines to conduct technical education in this mode by March next year,” he said.
“A regulatory frame work is being worked out to allow technical education in distance education mode for the first time in the country from next year. Students will be able to pursue courses in all technical subjects, except architecture and pharmacy,” AICTE chairman S S Mantha said.
This apart, candidates will require a few years of professional experience in their respective fields to apply for the technical courses. A national-level test will be conducted for enrolment, he said. “We are finalising the details.”
“Students of distance education will not face any problem in getting jobs as their diplomas or degrees will have the same value as those acquired after undergoing courses in educational institutions,” a HRD Ministry official said.
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Hindustan Times New Delhi, December 21, 2012
Students who secured distance education degrees in engineering and then discovered that the programmes weren’t legal can relax.
The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has decided to allow technical education, including engineering through the distance learning mode, as long as laboratory work is done in face-to-face sessions.
But there is a rider. Only students who have at least one diploma or degree through regular classroom learning can seek these distance technical education degrees. The relaxation will not apply to architecture and pharmacy courses, AICTE chairman SS Mantha said Friday.
The AICTE has received multiple petitions from students who earned distance engineering degrees but found these weren’t recognised while applying abroad for further studies.
“We want to regulate the sector, but we also want to take care of genuinely duped students,” Mantha said.
New agency for accreditation
The AICTE is setting up a new accreditation agency for technical education. The new body will be called the Indian Board of Accreditation (IBA) and will use the same standards as the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
“There’s a huge shortage of accreditation capacity and instead of adding more manpower to the NBA, we felt starting a new agency would be better,” AICTE adviser Renu Bapna told HT.
The UGC also aims to make accreditation mandatory.