The University Grants Commission (UGC) has drafted guidelines for granting equivalence and for recognition of degrees obtained from foreign universities, restricting degrees obtained through distance and online mode as well as through any franchise agreement.
The commission has also drafted norms for recognising qualifications obtained from schools affiliated with foreign boards as well as from offshore campuses of foreign higher educational institutions. UGC has released draft (Recognition and Grant of Equivalence to Qualifications obtained from Foreign Educational Institutions) Regulations, 2023.
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Conditions for Equivalence
1. Qualifications obtained from a foreign higher educational institution shall be recognised and granted equivalence, provided the qualification has been awarded by a foreign higher education institution that is duly recognised in its home country.
2. The student should have pursued the programme through regular, in-person instruction (and not through online or distance learning). The entry-level requirements for admission to the programme should be similar to those of a corresponding programme in India.
3. Similarity of entry criteria will be determined through due process by the Standing Committee set up for the purpose based on the similarity of the minimum duration of the programme in India and the foreign country; minimum credit requirements, and evaluation processes.
4. Credits in different categories of courses may be examined and similarity established (such as basic background courses, disciplinary core courses, disciplinary elective courses, cross-disciplinary courses, laboratory courses etc), so that the equivalence also reflects the similarity in 'flavour' of the offerings in India and abroad.
5. The minimum duration of the programme should be similar to that of a corresponding programme in India, in case the duration varies, the UGC will consider minimum credit requirements that should be the same in both institutions.
6. The University Grants Commission will examine and grant equivalence to the definition of credit (number of contact hours per week, number of self-study hours, quantum of experiential learning, etc.) first before the equivalence between the programmes is established. Up to 10 percent variation of total normalised credit requirements may be given equivalence.
7. The UGC will maintain a dedicated online portal to receive applications to grant equivalence to qualifications obtained from foreign educational institutions.