New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has relaxed norms for setting up of Open University by reducing the requirement of developed land from 40-60 acres to 5 acres.

As per a gazette notification, University Grants Commission (Fitness of Open Universities for grants) Rules, 1989, will now be called the University Grants Commission (Fitness of Open Universities for grants) (Amendment), Rules, 2022.

“The idea behind this reform is to promote more institutions in distance and online mode education without being limited by the availability of developed land for the institution. Earlier the minimum land required for such institutions was 40 – 60 acres which will be very difficult to procure in cities and hilly areas. This has now been reduced to 5 acres of developed land,” UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar told PTI.

“Since, the students are not going to be on campus full time, the commission felt that the infrastructural requirements can be relaxed for more universities to start functioning and offer education to more students, he added.

As per the norms, the UGC shall not declare an Open University to be fit to receive grants from the central government, the commission or any other organisation receiving any funds from the Centre, unless the UGC is satisfied in respect of the infrastructural norms.

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