Distance Education Bureau

About Distance Education

The open and distance learning system in India has emerged as an important mode for providing education to diverse sections of society. Besides, the changing dynamics of the ODL system in the last six decades have been encouraging. With the proliferation in the ICT, the boundaries of classroom or campus are becoming blurred. As it is said, the temporal and spatial boundaries have disappeared ( Kulandaiswamy, 2011). The impressive number of ODL institutions in the country bear testimony to the fact. Single-mode open universities have increased from four in number during the 8th Plan period to 14 in the 10th Plan period. The number of dual mode universities offering programmes through the distance mode (DEIs) has risen to more than 200. This is due to the fact that the growth in the infrastructure for face-to-face instruction is unable to match the educational demands of the ever-increasing number of aspiring students. At present nearly 25% students of higher education in the country are enrolled in the ODL system.

In the last six decades the ODL system has registered a phenoimenal growth in the context of expansion and diversification of higher education. From a single institution in 1962 ( Delhi University) the number of ODL institutions has reached approximately 250 including Central, State, Deemed to be and Private Universities along with many stand alone institutions.


National Open Universities


State Open Universities


List of Approved Universities




AIU norms of recognition and equivalency of Bachelors and Masters Degrees of foreign universities in India | AIU norms of recognition and equivalency of Bachelors and Masters Degrees of foreign universities in India

The Bachelor and Master degree programmes of most of the countries have also been accorded equivalence by AIU. For more details AIU published a book  – EQUIVALENCE OF FOREIGN DEGREES.

Full time Bachelor degree programmes pursued by the candidates, on the campus of the University of its origin, have been accorded equivalence.

Off Campus programme pursued by the candidates, in other countries, offered by the Universities, without the permission of the Ministry of Education of the concerned Government of that country, have not been accorded equivalence.

The Universities, for which the equivalence has not been accorded by AIU in particular, are still dealt on the basis of the system of education prevalent in that country. In case the Eligibility requirements, Duration of the Course and Course curriculum remains the same as that of Indian universities, AIU accords equivalence to them also.

It would be important to mention here that the duration of the Bachelor’s degree programme in India is 3 years (except Professional degrees) however, at most of the countries of the world Bachelor’s degree is of 3 – 4 year. Therefore, for admission in Master’s degree programme AIU considers the total length of study as 15 years (10 + 2 + 3, except Professional degrees) and issue equivalence.

Some of the European universities allow their students to complete their degree programmes in a shorter duration. Such degrees which are shorter in duration are not accorded equivalence by AIU. AIU, however, considers such proposal on the basis of their merit in case the concerned university furnishes a certificate to the effect that the candidate has completed all the requirements of graduation.

1-Year Master Degree programmes of foreign universities have also not been accorded equivalence by AIU. AIU do not issues ECs in such cases.

Apart there are a number of foreign universities which are also operational in India. AIU do not accords equivalence to the degrees awarded by them. Only the Institutions which are operational with the prior permission of AICTE are accorded recognition.

AIU does not grant equivalence to the degrees awarded by any accredited foreign university for the programmes offered in India, in collaboration with Indian/Academic Institutions and the examination is conducted and degree awarded by their parent university located abroad. Only the programmes which are pursued full time on the Campus of the University of its origin, are being accorded equivalence.

Diploma Level programmes offered by some of the foreign universities too have not been given equivalence by AIU, especially the Vocational Stream examinations.

So far, Degrees awarded through ON LINE and DISTANCE MODE have also not been accorded equivalence by AIU.



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