Online degrees ready set the quality benchmark in Indian education

Considering India’s target to achieve a GER of35% by 2025, there was a need to allow more quality-driven institutes to harness the power of online learning. Changes in textbooks and syllabus can not keep pace with the rate at which technology is evolving which makes online learning imperative and not just a catalyst in the fast-changing environment.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her Budget 2020 speech that the top 100educational institutions in the National Institutional Ranking Framework(NIRF) will be offering full-fledged degree programs online, the focus was on providing quality education across the spectrum, more specifically to the deprived sections of the society. UGC had floated the norms for online degrees and said universities that are accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council with at least a score of 3.01 on a scale of 4, or those who have found a place in the top 100 list of the National Institutional 
RankingFramework can apply for offering fully online programs. Fully-online degrees are an extension of India’s larger plan to open up and liberalize higher education 

What is an Online degree?
An online degree is an academic degree that can be earned primarily or entirely through the use ofan Internet-connected computer, rather than attending college in a traditional campus setting. Improvements in technology, the increasing use of the Internet worldwide, and the need for people to have flexible school schedules while they are working have led to a proliferation of online colleges that award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
The advantage of an online program is that it democratizes education, which means more people will now find access to good institutions. For many students, online degree courses are cost-effective and so can be very helpful for those who do not have the financial capability to study at inexpensive colleges. Online Learning is an ideal option to gear every learner’s career goals from their comfort zones without putting the future on hold. 
Online degrees are treated at par with regular degrees. With many high-quality institutions now offering online degrees, employers are more positive than in the past and are accepting online degrees.
New technologies are spreading tentacles ingrowing job market so working professionals are expected to remain updated with the latest skills. Also, the affordability of the internet over the last few years has given birth and popularity to the non-traditional method of acquiring education through online degree programs. The online degree programs are crafted to suit the requirements of working professionals who want to enhance skills through time and cost-effective programs.

Some of the benefits of Online Degree programs are:
1. Education can be carried together with work-life balance: There is no need for working professionals to quit job for higher education rather they would acquire a full-time degree in online mode maintaining their professional life and work- life balance. Now individuals need not have a gapon their resumes to acquire higher education and skill enhancement.

2.Gaining popularity amongst employers: If one pursue degree together with job, value of individual enhances amongst your teammates and employer. Also it has been observed that individual’s performance and productivity increases. As the value of online degree is same as offline degree so popularity and reliability of such programs have increased significantly.

3. Enhances real-world application of knowledge: Pursuing online degree together with job gives an edge as aspirants learn new things and best practices that can be applied immediately in their current jobs.

4. Enhances flexibility of Choice: Online degree provides better flexibility as one do not needs to work around the schedule decided by the educational institution. Online mode provides an advantage in maintaining work-life balance.

5. Enhances flexibility in choosing Location and course : Location is not a constraint as you can learn from any location and can pursue any of the course of your choice6. Cost-effective: Cost-effectiveness and affordability is major advantage. Since online degree programs require one to pay merely atuition fee, and are exempt from paying for maintenance, hostel room, activity fees, textbooks, and other random expenses, it saves aspirants a great deal of money. Such programs have made education affordable, and thus more accessible.

7. Better Networking opportunity: Online degree programs offer students the chance to network with peers across the globe. This provides collaboration opportunities with other individuals resulting in adiverse network, endless possibilities, global perspective, and a strong resume.

8. Inculcates self-discipline: Online degree program inculcates self-discipline in individuals as there is no one telling you what to do or not to do. One needs to be disciplined enough if he wants to progress. 

 Online vs regular education

The bottom Line
Online degrees are changing the face of education. They have “leveled the playing field’ for access to education. The way online degree programs are growing they have promising future as they provides access to education to a larger section ofthe population

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