Online Ph.D programmes offered by EdTech companies in collaboration with foreign educational institutions are not recognised, the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) announced.
This the second such warning this year to students by the higher education and the technical education regulators.
Earlier this year, the UGC and the AICTE had warned their recognised varsities and institutions against offering courses in distance learning and online mode in association with Ed-tech companies, saying no “franchise” agreement is permissible according to norms.
“In order to maintain the standards for awarding Ph.D degrees, the UGC has notified the UGC (Minimum Standards and Procedure for Award of MPhil, Ph.D degrees) Regulation 2016. It is mandatory for all higher educational institutions to follow UGC Regulations and its amendments for awarding Ph.D degrees,” according to a joint order issued by the UGC and the AICTE.
Students and the public at large are advised not to be misled by the advertisements for online Ph.D programmes offered by EdTech companies in collaboration with foreign educational institutions, it said.
“Such online Ph.D programmes are not recognised by the UGC. Aspiring students and the public at large, are requested to verify the authenticity of Ph.D programmes as per UGC Regulation 2016 before taking admission,” the order said.
The central government had in July warned EdTech companies against unfair trade practices.
The government is also working on a policy to regulate EdTech players operating in the country.
The aim of the proposed policy is to curb monopoly and prevent the exploitation of students by some EdTech platforms through lofty promises or unfair practices.
The Union education ministry is in talks with the Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology to work out a common policy for the sector.
The EdTech sector has witnessed an upswell in the past two years after education moved to online mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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