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National Programme on Technology Enhanced learning

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IITs, IIMs can now offer online courses

From Times of India e-paper

Manash Pratim Gohain | TNN

New Delhi: There’s hope for thousands of students who aspired to join the IITs or IIMs but couldn’t make the grade. At its meeting on Monday, the Distance Education Council (DEC) allowed all premier institutes in the country to offer online courses.
“There is no reason to stop IIMs and IITs from offering their courses online or in distance mode,’’ said V N Rajasekharan Pillai, vice-chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University, who chaired the meeting. It is now up to these institutes to design online courses and set up virtual campuses to reach out to a wider section of students. “This is a policy decision. We will suggest the best institutions offer their courses online as they have the infrastructure and technology in place,’’ Pillai said.
Pillai said many premier institutes have been approaching DEC to allow online education, but due to the rules of geographical jurisdiction — which restrict the reach of distance institutions — they haven’t been able to do so.
By doing away with the jurisdiction clause on Monday, DEC has allowed distance education institutions (DEIs) to set up study centres or offer programmes beyond their state. The move is seen as a major boost to distance education and open learning, and is expected to resolve cases wherein courses and institutes have been derecognised for curriculum and territorial jurisdiction violations.
DEC’s decision followed the recommendations given by a five-member committee of experts on open and distance learning (ODL) and information and communication technology, set up by the DEC chairman. “Geographical restrictions on the operations and services of any ODL programme go against its very objectives,’’ Pillai said.
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