Online Courses in India
What is the validity of courses available at Coursera? Will the certificate be recognized by any Government Authority in India
Coursera is one of the leading providers of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which offers free certificate on various courses. These courses might be useful for acquiring knowledge but the certificates of coursera are not recognised by Government of India as education regulator, University Grants Commission (UGC) does not recognise courses from coursera as they are offered solely through the online mode.
Many universities are offering such degrees, even though “UGC has not yet recognised any University/Institution for offering distance education programmes solely through the online mode,” writes SK Mishra, deputy director, UGC, in response to a question under the Right to Information Act.
The website of the Karnataka Stake Open University (KSOU), for instance, offers online, correspondence and regular face-to-face programmes in its distance learning package. When contacted, Prof MK Krishanan, vice chancellor, KSOU, said he accepted that the degree offered by the university would not be valid for employment as per the Indian education system, but KSOU was offering such programmes to keep up with international trends. “We have signed an MoU with a Mumbai-based website schoolguru.com which is imparting online degree courses to students on our behalf. I fully agree that these degrees are invalid but the global trend is towards online education and I don’t think we should lag behind the other players.”
Former officials of the DEC and the present regulator, the Distance Education Bureau under UGC express say they are worried that no regulatory framework is in place for online courses. “DEC did not give any approval to any university to run any course solely through the online mode. Online study material can be a supplementary learning methodology but completing the whole course all through the online mode was never approved by DEC,” says Manjulika Srivastava, who held a senior position in DEC.
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