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.