Institutions with NAAC grade of A+ and A++ will soon be able to offer three-year degree programmes through online mode, which will be treated at par with regular courses.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) is formulating guidelines for three-year degree programmes to be provided via online mode.
"Nearly 15 per cent institutions in the country with top National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) score of A+ and A++ will be able to offer three-year degree programmes through online mode," HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters at the 65th meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE).
"The universities will be free to decide their curriculum and set their question papers, be it multiple choice questions or subjective questions, but there will be certain norms that will be universally applicable," he said.
The Union minister said the rules and guidelines would be notified by next month.
"At present, there are a few universities offering online courses but there are no set norms. Once the guidelines are notified, a university which does not meet the NAAC grade requirement will be given two year period to either improve its NAAC grading or close down the course," he said.
The online education will also help increase the enrolment ratio in the country, he said.
"CABE will make efforts to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) which is at present 25.2 per cent to 30 per cent in next five years," Javadekar said.
The Board also resolved to take necessary steps to ensure that no deserving student should be denied opportunity to have higher education for lack of means.
Besides this, CABE decided to take positive action to plug regional disparities, and the states to prepare perspective plan along with bringing accountability for all stakeholders.