The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed universities and colleges to use the 82 undergraduate and 42 postgraduate Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) available on the HRD Ministry's 'Swayam' platform for credit transfer. The courses, approved by Swayam board, are ready to be offered in the July semester 2020.
"The students enrolled in universities and affiliated colleges may undertake Swayam courses and avail credits by completing these courses as per the University Grants Commission's (UGC) present regulations on credit framework for online learning courses," Union HRD Minister Rameh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said.
"UGC has shared a list of 82 undergraduate and 42 postgraduate non-engineering MOOCs with university vice-chancellors and college principals which will be offered in July semester 2020 on the Swayam platform," he added.
According to an official statement, Swayam (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) is a platform developed by the HRD Ministry to achieve the three cardinal principles of education policy — access, equity and quality.
In its letter to the vice-chancellors of universities and the principals of colleges, the UGC has said, "Since the lockdown was announced, Swayam which houses a repository of 1,900 courses, has been accessed by 50,000 learners, which is over and above 25 lakh students and learners who are already enrolled in the January 2020 semester of Swayam".
"The Swayam examination for the postgraduate and undergraduate Swayam courses for July 2020 semester to be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) are scheduled for November 14-15. You are requested to factor in these dates while fixing your university or institution examination calendar to avoid any clash of dates," the letter said.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16 when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as one of the measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Later, a 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, which came into effect the next day. It has now been extended till May 31.
The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 3,435 and the number of cases to 1,12,359 in the country on Thursday, registering an increase of 132 deaths and 5,609 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry.
The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 63,624, while 45,299 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, it said.