UGC to Allow 900 Autonomous Colleges to Offer Online Degree Courses

New Delhi, 22 February 2022: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has made the decision to allow 900 autonomous colleges to provide online degree courses to the students. This decision has been taken with the aim of providing a wide and diversified learning opportunity to students. Through online degree courses, students will be able to get degrees remotely. However, these students will be required to be Class 12 and undergraduate qualified for taking admissions into undergraduate and postgraduate online degree courses. 


  • The decision aims to increase the gross enrolment ratio to 50 percent by 2035, as proposed in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. 
  • India’s gross enrolment ratio stood at 27.1 percent in 2019-20 for the 18-23 age group, against 26.3 percent in 2018-19.
  • At present, a total of 351 courses are available online through 59 higher education institutions.

Online Degree Courses: Details

  • Presently, only universities are allowed to offer remote degrees via online courses.
  • The autonomous colleges that have ranked among the top 100 in their respective subject categories at least two times in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) rankings are eligible.
  • The autonomous colleges which have earned a grade of minimum 3.26 from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) will not require prior approval from UGC to offer online degrees.
  • However, these colleges will have to follow the guidelines and regulations issued by UGC.


  • The autonomous colleges with ranking among the top 100 spots in their respective subject categories in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) or that have a minimum grade of 3.26 from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) will be able to offer online degree courses.
  • The National Testing Agency (NTA) will evaluate the students through online proctored mode exam or computer-based test (CBT) format. 
  • Students will be required to have a minimum of 75% attendance in the online degree programs just like conventional degree courses. 

Nature of Online Degree Courses

  • The online degree programmes will be quite different from conventional degree programmes in many aspects other than the mode of learning. 
  • These remote courses would be more flexible and will have diverse options. 

Note: The University Grants Commission (UGC) is expected to share a detailed framework in March, 2022.

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