The University Grants Commission on Wednesday approved regulations that will allow educational institutions to offer graduate, postgraduate and diploma programmes online. Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar hailed it as a “landmark reform”.

However, universities can offer online programmes only in disciplines in which they already run regular courses, Javadekar said. “Even students outside India can learn from Indian universities in online mode,” he added. “The best Indian institutions can reach out to students anywhere in the country and abroad.”

Any educational institution can apply for permission to offer online programmes under the UGC (Online Courses) Regulations, 2018, if it has been in existence for at least five years and is accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, with a minimum score of 3.26 out of four, PTI reported. Online degrees are permitted in all disciplines except engineering, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, architecture and physiotherapy.