UGC Bans Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Programme in Agriculture

Mar 29, 2019 12:34 IST
UGC Bans Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Programme in Agriculture

As per the latest official notification, University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently added Agriculture in the lists of Programmes prohibited in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode. The decision was taken 538th Meeting held 29th January 2019 as communicated by Secretary & Director General - Department of Agricultural Research & Education and Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India. Agriculture degree programmes are prohibited in ODL mode from the Academic Session 20 19-20 beginning July, 2019.

Earlier Professional Programmes such as medicine, engineering, architecture, nursing, dental, pharmacy and physiotherapy, were prohibited to be offered in distance mode as per UGC Open and Distance Learning Regulations, 2017. Provisions defined in clause (p) of Sub Regulation (2) of Part-I of I UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017 regarding professional programmes:

“Professional programmes’ means a programme other than programmes in engineering, medicine, denial, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, physiotherapy and programmes not permitted to be offered in distance mode by any Statutory Councils or Regulatory Authorities to be conducted by the Higher Educational Institutions under Open and Distance Learning mode or Distance Education mode for the purpose of these regulations, if any, should be considered only if the same are approved by the respective Statutory Councils or Regulatory Authorities.

Distance Learning Agriculture Courses in India includes different streams like Agricultural Science, Coastal Aquaculture, Dairy Technology, Herbal Science and Poultry Management. Below are some universities which offer Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Degree and Diploma Programme in Agriculture:

  • Yashwant Rao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU)

  • Annamalai University


  • Kuvempu University

  • Nalanada Open University

  • Netaji Open University

  • Nagarjuna University

  • Rajasthan Vidyapeeth University

  • Vinayaka Missions University

  • Madras University

  • Karnataka Open University

  • Rajarshi Tandon Open University

  • Kota Open University

According to the sources, recommendation was made by the Union Agriculture Ministry to the commission, requesting it to consider prohibiting universities from offering Open and Distance Learning (ODL) degree programmes in agriculture. "To protect the interest of the students already enrolled to the agriculture degree programme, the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) has been requested for hand-holding of such higher education institutions. However, no new enrolments will be permitted from the 2019 academic session", the UGC official said. So, it is advisable for the students not to enroll their names in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Degree and Diploma Programme in Agriculture and instead opt for the regular (non distance learning programme) in Agricultural courses.