Thursday 4 August 2016

Gazette Notification | UGC (Credit Framework for Online Learning Courses through SWAYAM) Regulation, 2016

University Grants Commission

UGC (Credit Framework for Online Learning Courses through SWAYAM) Regulation, 2016

New Delhi, the 19th July, 2016 | No. F.1-100/2016(MOOCs/e-content)

The Gazette of India : Extraordinary [Part Iii, Section 4, No. 295]

New Delhi, Wednesday, July 20, 2016/Asadha 29, 1938

Online Notification:


1. Preamble.

1.1 Whereas Education has to widen the access to higher education and bring down its cost by using technological advances,

1.2 Whereas Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have emerged as a viable model for imparting education, involving conventional and online education,

1.3 Whereas the Indian version of online learning is being launched on an indigenous platform of learning, named as SWAYAM (Study Web of Active Learning by Young and Aspiring Minds),

1.4 Whereas there is a need to create synergies between the salient features of anytime-anywhere format of e-Learning and the traditional classroom-based chalk and talk method to develop a unique content delivery mechanism, which is responsive to learners' needs and ensures seamless transfer of knowledge across geographical boundaries,

1.5 Whereas there is a need to put in place a regulatory mechanism that would allow seamless connect between the online learning and the regular class room learning, Now therefore;

University Grants Commission in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (f) and (g) of sub-section (1) of Section 26 of the UGC Act 1956 (No. 3 of 1956), makes the following Regulations, namely;

2. Short title, Application and Commencement:

2.1 These Regulations shall be called the UGC (Credit Framework for online learning courses through SWAYAM) Regulation 2016.

2.2 These shall apply to all universities established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a Provincial Act, or a State/Union Territory Act and all institutions recognized by or affiliated to such Universities and all institutions deemed to be universities under Section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956.

2.3 These shall further apply to the transfer of credits of such students who are enrolled as regular/part-time students in any educational institution in India.

2.4 These shall come into force from the date of their publication in the official Gazette.

3. Definitions:

3.1 'Academic Council' is the body empowered to take decisions regarding all academic matters in an institution including the decision regarding permitting online learning courses through SWAYAM.

3.2 'Course' shall mean a paper which is taught for at least one semester as a part of a subject

3.3 'Four quadrant approach': the four Quadrant approach means e-learning system that has the following components:

  • Quadrant-I is e-Tutorial: that shall contain: Video and Audio Content in an organised form, Animation, Simulations, Virtual Labs.
  • Quadrant-II is e-Content: that shall contain: PDF/e-Books/illustration, video demonstrations, documents and Interactive simulations wherever required.
  • Quadrant-III is Web Resources: that shall contain: Related Links, Open Content on Internet, Case Studies, Anecdotal information, Historical development of the subject, Articles.
  • Quadrant-IV is Self-Assessment: that shall contain: MCQ, Problems, Quizzes, Assignments and solutions, Discussion forum topics and setting up the FAQ, Clarifications on general misconceptions.

3.4 'Host Institution' shall mean the institution duly recognised/approved by the regulating authority, to which the PI/SME offering the course belongs.

3.5 'Institution' shall mean any academic institution registered and functioning in India.

3.6 'MOOCs': Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are such online courses which are developed as per the pedagogy stated herein; following the four quadrant approach and made available on the SWAYAM platform of Government of India.

3.7 'MOOCs Guidelines' shall mean guidelines on online learning issued by the MHRD vide its orders dated 11th March 2016 and subsequent addendums issued by the MHRD.

3.8 'National MOOCs Coordinator' (NMC) is a Nation level agency designated as such by the Government, for the purpose of coordinating the production of the online courses and for overseeing their quality in a designated sector of learning.

3.9 'Parent Institution' shall mean the institution/university/college where the student is enrolled as a regular/part-time student.

3.10 'Principal Investigator (PI)': The PI shall be a Subject Matter Expert (SME) belonging to a reputed educational institution, identified and entrusted with the task of developing and delivering MOOCs in a given area by the NMC.

3.11 'Sector' shall mean a particular level of learning such as high school, engineering/non-engineering diploma/degree/post-graduation.

3.12 'Subject' shall mean a discipline (e.g. Mathematics) taught in an educational institution consisting of specific courses, resulting in awarding of a certificate/diploma/degree.

3.13 'SWAYAM platform' is an IT platform developed and made functional by the Ministry of Human Resource Development of Government of India for the purpose of offering online learning courses on the MOOCs pattern.

4. Online learning courses:

4.1. The online learning courses shall be made available on the SWAYAM Platform by the PI identified by the National MOOCs Coordinator, through the Host Institution, as per the schedule finalised by him/her.

4.2. The SWAYAM shall notify to the Registrars of all the Institutions, on 1st June and 1st November every year, the list of the online learning Courses going to be offered in the forthcoming Semester.

4.3. All the Institutions shall, within 4 weeks from the date of notification by SWAYAM, consider through their Competent Authority the online learning courses being offered through the SWAYAM platform; and keeping in view their academic requirements, decide upon the courses which it shall permit for credit transfer. Provided that an Institution can only allow up to 20% of the total courses being offered in a particular program in a Semester through the online learning courses provided through SWAYAM platform.

4.4. While making this decision, the Academic Council may, interalia, consider allowing online courses of SWAYAM if:

a) There is non-availability of suitable teaching staff for running a course in the Institution or

b) The facilities for offering the elective papers (courses), sought for by the students are not on offer in the Institution, but are available on the SWAYAM platform.

c) The courses offered on SWAYAM would supplement the teaching-learning process in the Institution.

4.5 Every student, in the class of the institution, offering a particular paper (course) would be required to register for the MOOCs for that course/paper.

4.6 While allowing the online learning Courses offered by SWAYAM, it shall be ensured that the physical facilities like Laboratories, computer facilities, library etc., essential for pursuing the courses shall be made available free and in adequate measure by the parent institution.

4.7 The parent institution must designate a course coordinator/facilitator to guide the students throughout the course and to facilitate/conduct the Lab/Practical sessions/examinations.

5.Evaluation and Certification of MOOCs

5.1. The host institution and the PI shall be responsible for evaluating the students registered for the MOOCs course launched by him/her.

5.2. The evaluation should be based on predefined norms and parameters and shall be based on a comprehensive evaluation throughout the length and breadth of course based on specified instruments like discussions, forums, quizzes, assignments, sessional examinations and final examination.

5.3. Whereas an online examination would be the preferred mode, the PI shall be authorised to decide on the mode of conducting the final examination. This shall be announced in the overview of the Course at the time of offering the course.

5.4. In case, a pen and paper final examination is to be conducted, the same shall be offered through any college/school volunteering to conduct the same. The decision in this respect will be of the PI and the host institution.

5.5. After conduct of the examination and completion of the evaluation, the PI through the host institution shall award marks/grade as per the evaluation scheme announced.

5.6. The final marks/grade shall be communicated to the students as well as the parent institution of the student, within 4 weeks from the date of completion of the final examination.

5.7. The parent Institution shall, incorporate the marks/grade obtained by the student, as communicated by the Host Institution through the PI of the SWAYAM course in the marks sheet of the student that counts for final award of the degree/diploma by the University with the proviso that the programs in which Lab/Practical Component is involved, the parent institution will evaluate the students for the practical/Lab component and accordingly incorporate these marks/grade in the overall marks/grade

5.8. A certificate regarding successful completion of the MOOCs course shall be signed by the PI and issued through the Host Institution and sent to the Parent Institution.

6. Credit Mobility of MOOCs

6.1. The parent Institution shall give the equivalent credit weightage to the students for the credits earned through online learning courses through SWAYAM platform in the credit plan of the program.

6.2. No university shall refuse any student for credit mobility for the courses earned through MOOCs.

7. Amendment required in University Rules and Regulations for Seamless Integration of MOOCs

7.1 Every Institution, shall within 4 weeks from the date of issue of these Regulations, shall decide through their Competent Authority, the amendments required in their Ordinances, Rules, Regulations etc to incorporate provisions of these Regulation.

8. Transitory Measures

8.1 The UGC shall notify a Standing committee to resolve any issues that may arise in the implementation of these regulations during the transition period of three years.


Prof. Jaspal S. Sandhu, Secretary, UGC

[Advt.-III/4/Exty./182 (113)]

Online Notification