Higher education students, enrolled to open and distance learning programmes, will soon have an option to take their examinations as and when they are ready for it.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has proposed to set up a national board to conduct examinations-on-demand for such students with the Union government’s focus on expansion of the open and distance learning (ODL) mode of education to achieve the target of increasing the country’s gross enrollment ratio (GER) in higher education to 40% by 2024 from the current 26.3%.

A committee of experts set up by the commission has recommended providing examination-on-demand facility to higher education students, particularly those enrolled to ODL programmes, stressing that the system should ensure “highest dependability, openness, reliability, transparency and recognition.”

“Initially, on-demand examinations can be introduced for distance programmes for which it is best suited. It is time, steps are initiated in the direction,” the UGC has noted in a policy document and guidelines for implementation of the the committee’s recommendations for evaluation reforms in higher education institutions.

Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank released the UGC policy documents and guidelines at an event on Thursday. The proposed on-demand-examination facility will be “open to all.” There will be no age limit for the candidates to get registered for the examination, according to the UGC.

The syllabus, study material will be readied under the aegis of the higher education regulator.

The question bank will contain various types of questions like multiple choice questions, short questions, long questions.