‘Institutes with NAAC rating of 3.26 above can offer online programmes without prior permission’: UGC chairman

‘Institutes with NAAC rating of 3.26 above can offer online programmes without prior permission’: UGC chairman Source: ugc.ac.in
Team Careers360 | Jun 10, 2020 - 10:52 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: In a live interaction with Careers360, D.P.Singh, chairman, Universities Grant Commission (UGC) stated that the commission is coming up with new guidelines that allow institutes with a NAAC rating of 3.26 and above or top 100 NIRF ranked institutes to offer online degree programmes without any prior permission from it. This is in line with the E-Vidya programme envisaged and announced by the Prime Minister.

“Online Education/ E-learning/ Digital learning is the need of the hour now. While I am of the opinion that face to face teaching is the best way of teaching for a number of reasons. Conventionally as well as traditionally in India, this has been the norm in India but as of now we have no option right now other than online education,” he said.

It is to be noted that the Finance Minister in her budget speech last year had mentioned that online education will be promoted through the top 100 universities of the country. In May 2017, it was decided to permit the top 100 universities to offer online programmes keeping in line with this announcement.

Singh said, “We have revisited the total legal framework towards distance learning and digital learning to bring not just the 100 top ranked institutes but also good institutes into the fold. After discussions it was decided to allow all institutes with a NAAC rating of 3.26 and above to offer online programmes without any prior permission from UGC.”

Speaking about the changes that will come into effect thereafter, he said that the universities and institutes will have to ensure that they have the requisite infrastructure to support the online programmes as well as trained faculty equipped to deal with online classes effectively. He further observed that this in itself will be challenging as the process involves no face to face but remote interaction that should be equally effective.

Institutes which are having a NAAC rating between 3.01 and 3.26 will have to apply to UGC for approval in conducting or starting online degree programmes.

He also observed that with the advent of the online programmes, the ranking methodologies of even NIRF will have to be revisited to incorporate these to bring a true picture to the students.

A look at the NAAC accreditation chart:

Range of institutional

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)

Letter Grade


3.51 - 4.00



3.26 - 3.50



3.01 - 3.25



2.76 - 3.00



2.51 - 2.75



2.01 - 2.50



1.51 - 2.00



<= 1.50


Not accredited

Source: NAAC official website

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