Of the 70,000 students who registered at the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) – the distance education wing of University of Mumbai (MU) – this year, only 42,614 confirmed their admissions. The deadline for the admissions was August 23.
The delayed affiliation by the University Grants Commission (UGC), which eventually led to admissions being deferred, might have affected the process. In 2018, over 67,000 students had confirmed their admissions to IDOL.
According to MU officials, this year, while 48,433 students completed the application process, only 42,614 had confirmed their admissions and paid the fees by August 23. They said that the number is likely to increase by Wednesday, as the University has extended the date to August 28 for completing admissions, along with a late fee of ₹150.
Vinod Malale, public relations officer, IDOL, said, “Other than this, we are yet to conduct admissions to some post graduate (PG) courses, which should add to the existing number [of students].
PG admissions for second year courses are still pending, as students are awaiting their first year PG results.
This year, admissions to IDOL were delayed owing to lack of proper affiliation to the University. In June 2017, UGC issued a notification to regulate distance learning courses offered across the country that required institutes to seek the regulator’s recognition. IDOL did not figure in the UGC’s first list issued in August 2018, as its National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) grading had expired.
IDOL also failed to show up in two consecutive updated UGC lists after that – one in January and another in the last week of June 2019.On July 31, IDOL finally made it to the UGC list.
“We missed making it to the previous lists as the mandatory on-site visit by a UGC-appointed expert committee’s report was pending. Once the report was submitted, we were sure that IDOL would be featured in the updated list,” Malale said.
New rules required applicant institutes to attain a NAAC score of 3.26 on a four-point scale before the end of the academic year 2019-20, and also affiliation with the UGC.