UGC, AICTE warn against “franchise arrangement” between colleges, Ed-tech companies

NEW DELHI, Jan 17:

The University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have warned their recognised varsities and institutions against offering courses in distance learning and online mode in association with Ed-tech companies, saying no “franchise” agreement is permissible as per norms.
The higher education regulator (UGC) and technical education regulator (AICTE) have also advised students and parents to check recognition status of any programme on their websites before enrolling in any course.
“The regulations mandate that the HEIs shall not offer ODL or online programm under any franchise arrangement and the HEIs themselves are completely responsible for the programmes. However, it has come to the notice of UGC recently that some EdTech companies are giving advertisements in newspaper, social media and television etc that they are offering degree and diploma programmes in ODL and online modes in association with some universities and institutions recognised by the UGC,” commission secretary Rajnish Jain said in an official order.
“Such a franchisee arrangement is not permissible and action will be taken against defaulting EdTech companies as well as HEIs under applicable laws, rules and regulations. All the students are also hereby advised that they should check the recognition and entitlement status of the programmes on UGC website before enrolling in any course,” he added.
In a similar public notice, the AICTE has also warned against the franchise arrangement between institutions and Ed-tech companies.
The Education Ministry had earlier this month issued an elaborate advisory to parents and students dealing with ed-tech firms asking them, among other things, to exercise caution while making payments.
The ministry had said the parents, students and all stakeholders in education have to be careful while deciding on opting for online content and coaching being offered by a host of Ed-tech companies. (PTI)