At the same time, the ability to implement programs in one of these formats is not a right, but a privilege. Not every Indian university will be able to get permission to implement education in a distance or online format, even if it complies with all the requirements specified in the Notification. The final decision remains with the University Grants Commission. Until 2022, only 53 Indian universities had official permission to implement distance learning and online education. However, now the government is striving to develop this area more actively, and recently granted permission to 900 more universities and colleges.
According to the document, in online programs, the learning process is organized exclusively on Internet platforms. All students attend virtual classes which are held according to the schedule. The teacher virtually controls these classes. Exams and grading are also held online.
Universities cannot offer completely new programs in an online format, they can only adapt existing ones to it. In addition, there is a list of educational areas for which it is forbidden to implement programs in remote or online format: engineering, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, dentistry, architecture, law, agriculture, gardening, hospitality, catering technology, culinary sciences, aircraft maintenance, fine arts and sports.
Certificates received after completing online programs are equivalent to certificates that a student can receive by studying in the traditional way. Nevertheless, the certificates necessarily indicate the format of education. An interesting fact: with all of the above, qualifications, diplomas and degrees obtained in online programs of foreign universities are not recognized in India. However, this situation — against the background of India's general efforts to internationalize and digitalize education — may change in the relatively near future, especially under the influence of neighbors in the Asian region. Coordination needed for a sustainable, competitive position
Once travel restrictions ease as vaccine rollouts begin to take effect, international students and prospects will feel a dynamic mixture of relief, excitement, and anxiety. They will face economies in various stages of recovery and intense competition for jobs. They will be looking more carefully than ever at national policies enabling them to work during study and to pursue employment after graduation, costs of living (especially accommodation) in destination countries and cities, and scholarship opportunities.
The greater the ability of governments and institutions to coordinate to create compassionate, relevant policies and experiences for COVID-affected international students, the greater will be their ability to compete for these students in a post-pandemic world.