Published: 21st May 2022
UGC relaxes regulations for setting up open universities in India. We find out more
The regulations set in 1989, that mandated 40-60 acres of land to set up an open university, have been amended to just 5 acres of developed land
In a bid to promote distance education and learning, the University Grants Commission has amended the regulations for setting up an open university in the country. A gazette notification was issued by the UGC to amend the UGC Fitness of Open Universities for Grants Rules 1989.
According to this amendment, the requirement of 40 to 60 acres of land for setting up an open university has been reduced to developed land of just 5 acres. UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar, in a statement, said, "The idea behind this reform is to promote more institutions in distance/online mode education without being limited by the availability of developed land for the institution. Earlier, the minimum land required for such institutions was 40-60 acres which will be very difficult to procure in cities and hilly areas. This has now been reduced to 5 acres of developed land."
There's also the fact that as an open university, the institution will not be required to build infrastructure for the students on campus. This, therefore, gave the UGC the window of opportunity to ease the requirement of 40 to 60 acres land, creating more opportunities for open universities to be set up.
At present, India has 14 single-mode state-run open universities that only provide distance education. The Indira Gandhi National Open University is India's only central open university.