Equivalence of Degrees Awarded by Open & Distance Learning (ODL) Institutions at par with conventional Universities / Institutions.
1. There are a number of Open and Distance Learning Institutions (ODLIs) in the country offering Degree/ Diploma/Certificate programmes through the mode of non formal education. These comprise Open Universities, Distance Education Institutions (either single mode or dual mode) of Central Universities, State Universities, Deemed to be Universities, Institutions of National Importance or any other Institution of Higher learning recognized by Central/State/Statutory Council/Societies registered under the Society Registration Act 1860.

2. A circular was earlier issued vide UGC letter F1 No- 52/2000(CPP-II) dated May 05, 2004 (copy enclosed) mentioning that Degrees/Diplomas / Certificates/ awarded by the Open Universities in conformity with the UGC notification of degrees be treated as equivalent to corresponding awards of the traditional Universities in the country.

3. Attention is also invited to UGC circular No Fl-25/93(CPP-II) dated 28`}' July 1993 (copy enclosed) for recognition of degrees and diplomas as well as transfer of credit for courses successfully completed by students between the two types of universities so that the mobility of students from Open University stream to traditional universities/ institutions is ensured without any difficulty.

4. The Government of India, in exercise of its power conferred under section 20(1) of UGC Act 1956, issued directions dated 29th December 2012 entrusting UGC with the responsibility of regulating higher education programme in open and distance learning (ODL) mode. Consequently, Universities/ Institutions desirous of offering any programme through distance mode would require recognition of UGC.

5. As you are aware, the Government of India has envisaged a greater role for the Open and the Distance Education System. The envisioned role may be fulfilled by recognizing and treating the Degrees / Diplomas/ Certificates awarded through distance mode at par with the degrees obtained through the formal system of education. Open and Distance Education System in the country is contributing a lot in expansion of Higher Education and for achieving target of GER, without compromising on quality. Non recognition/ non equivalence of degrees of ODL institutions for the purpose of promotion/ employment and pursuing higher education may prove a deterrent to many learners and will ultimately defeat the purpose of Open and Distance Education.

6. Accordingly, the Degrees/ Diplomas/ Certificates awarded for programmes conducted by the ODL institutions, recognized by DEC (erstwhile) and UGC, in conformity with UGC Notification on specification of Degrees should be treated as equivalent to the corresponding awards of the DegreeiplomCertificate of the traditional Universities/ institutions in the country.

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