If you’re planning to pursue your higher education through distance learning in India, here are five things that you must know:
1. You have the option of pursuing a distance learning programme from the one and only national open university of India – the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) or any of the 13 state open universities in India. Apart from these there are 140+ dual mode universities which offer programmes through the distance mode.
2. All distance programs must be approved by the Distance Education Bureau (DEB) of the University Grants Commission (UGC.) You can access the list of ODLs (Online and Distant Learning Institutes) that are currently approved by the DEB on their website.
3. Distance learning has evolved a lot in the last couple decades. With advances in technology, distance learning now also includes online learning or e-learning. A traditional open university like IGNOU now provides a host of online programmes, some of which include:
- Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainability Science (PGDSS)
- Appreciation Programme on Sustainability Science (APSS)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Food Science and Technology (PGDFT)
- Post-Graduate Diploma in Food Safety and Quality Management (PGDFSQM)
4. Though two degrees cannot generally be pursued simultaneously, a student can pursue two programmes simultaneously through the distance mode or combination of distance and regular modes from the same or different universities/institutions in the following various combinations:
- One Degree and one Diploma/PG Diploma/Certificate
- One P G Diploma and one Diploma/Certificate
- One Diploma and one Certificate
- Two PG Diplomas
- Two Diplomas
- Two Certificates
5. There are now many institutes/ colleges/ universities in India that offer only online courses. University18 is such an example. It has been developed in a Public Private Partnership with national universities like Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), Uttarakhand Open University (UOU) and IIM Shillong. Another such 100 percent online education platform is UTS. You can submit assignments online, access an online library 24-7 and take exams online.