New Delhi :Prof. Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC)-GoI, who was the chief guest at the roundtable – ‘Enhancing Competitiveness and Quality Revolution in Indian Higher Education (IHE)’, informed that UGC has tied up with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to ensure that students from remotest areas can have access to online education facilities. “We are working on a multi-dimensional way to make sure that education reaches to the last student in the most remote area. So, we have signed up with MeitY as they have a large number of common service centres (CSCs). Any student can walk into those centres, pay a nominal monthly fee, and access digital universities,” he said. The event was organised by the apex industry body, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
Prof Kumar gave insights into the various initiatives undertaken by the Government of India to expand and enhance higher education in the country. “The introduction of Common Universities Entrance Test Undergraduate (CUET-UG) 2022 has been well-received by the students and the stakeholders. A huge number of students, around 14.9 lakhs registered for this examination, which is only next to NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test),” he said. Speaking on the possible merger between the national-level engineering and medical entrances NEET and JEE, he added, “That’s an idea that we are floating so that there is wider discussion among the stakeholders. There is no formal decision that we have taken on this.”
The UGC chief also addressed numerous queries from the Vice-Chancellors present at the roundtable. He revealed that nearly 550 universities have registered at the Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) for higher credits. “Thousands of students taking online courses are benefiting in terms of transferring the credits to the host university where they are studying online,” he said, adding, “Currently, students can take up to 40% of the credit requirements in a programme, but once we announce online regulations and establish the digital university, there is going to be an exponential growth of online education.”