In a major development, the Distance Education Council (DEC) of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has been dissolved. The Human Resource Development Ministry of India will entrust the University Grants Commission with all regulatory responsibilities of the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) education system.
“Pursuant to notification dated May 4 issued by the IGNOU, statute 28 of IGNOU Act 1985 dealing with the DEC has been repealed and deleted with immediate effect. Accordingly, DEC of IGNOU stands dissolved,” a UGC notification, dated May 28 stated.
The UGC said it was working on development of appropriate regulations for maintaining standards in ODL programmes/courses. “In view of the above, wherever applicable, universities may kindly ensure that no further affiliations/approvals are granted to any new centre for ODL programmes/courses till such regulations are notified and come into force,” UGC has appealed.
Headquartered in New Delhi, DEC was constituted under the IGNOU Act and was responsible for promotion and coordination of the open university and distance education system and determination of its standards in the country.
“Shifting of DEC from IGNOU to UGC is a good move in the interest of open distance learning programme in the country. With ODL emerging as powerful and sought after mode of learning in today’s age of globalisation, the empowered body like UGC could govern the affairs effectively,” sources from UGC said.
Set up by the Union government in 1956, UGC is a statutory organisation that has the unique distinction of being the only grant-giving agency in the country which has been vested with two responsibilities — of providing funds and of coordination, determination and maintenance of standards in institutions of higher education.