New Delhi, February 9: To bring about an effective regulation in education offered through distance mode, government is planning a legislation making Distance Education Council (DEC) an independent statutory body.
The move is in line with the recommendations of the Madhava Menon Committee which had envisaged a regulatory authority such as Distance Education Council of India through an act of Parliament.
Referring to the committee report, officials said inadequacy and ambiguity in the legal framework and inability of DEC to discipline erring institutions are the main reasons for lack of regulation in the ODL system resulting in poor quality of education.
At present, DEC is being governed by UGC but critics say that despite stringent regulations put in place, private universities continue to bend rules in offering courses under distance mode.
The committee had recommended establishing an independent and effective regulatory authority on distance education, equipped with necessary powers and resources to determine and regulate the standards of higher education including technical education through open distance learning.
According to estimate, there are over 40 lakh candidates across the country pursuing different courses under the distance mode of education. The government had sometime ago sought suggestions from the public and other stakeholders on the draft Distance Council of India Bill. The bill would be introduced in Parliament after it gets the nod of the Union Cabinet.