Putting to rest the confusion, the UGC or University Grants Commission has said that the Degrees or Diplomas or Certificates awarded for programmes conducted by the ODL institutions, recognised by the commission, should be treated as corresponding degrees of regular institutions.
According to the UGC (Open and Distance Learning) Regulations, 2017, which was notified on last June, the programmes in engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, physiotherapy and such other programmes which require hands-on training are not permitted to be offered under Open and Distance Learning mode.
It also said that the degrees of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) institutions registered under the erstwhile Distance Education Council (DEC) or the commission, in conformity with UGC Notification on Specification of Degrees, should be treated as equivalent to the corresponding awards of the Degree or Diploma or Certificate of the traditional Universities/ Institutions in the country.
A notification to this effect read, "The Government of India has envisaged a greater role for the Open and the Distance Education System. The envisioned role may be fulfilled by recognizing and treating the Degrees/Diplomas/Certificates awarded through distance mode at par with the corresponding awards of Degrees/Diplomas/Certificates obtained through the formal system of education."