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Norms & Standards !


India, in its developmental phase, requires an ever expanding number of managerial personnel. The limitations of the conventional and face-to-face system to meet this ever expanding requirement are too well known. Distance mode for its flexibility and cost effectiveness is the obvious choice. Nevertheless, to ensure and maintain quality, we must have clear cut norms and standards for management education. Norms and Standards should cover different aspects namely, curriculum design, eligibility criteria, admission procedures, duration, evaluation, infrastructural facilities, credit transfer system etc.


The curriculum design should be mainly guided by the need for developing effective mangers. It should thus aim to develop relevant skills and competencies. The curriculum and the minimum/maximum number of credits/credit hours should be the same as suggested for full-time/part-time management courses. The CODLcurriculum for management programmes should have at least 50% common and the balance courses specific to local needs or the needs of the proposed specialization. Suggested CODL, curriculum structure consisting of compulsory, elective and project work courses is illustrated below for reference:

Compulsory Courses :-

1. Management Functions and Behavior
2. Managing Men
3. Economic and Social Environment
4. Accounting and Finance for Managers
5. Management of Machines and Materials
6. Marketing for Managers
7. Information Management and Computers
8. Quantitative Analysis for Managerial Applications
9. Managerial Economics
10. Organisational Design, Development and Change
11. Corporate Policies and Practices
12. Strategic Management* 
13. Research Methodology for Management Decisions*
14. Project work (Equivalent to two courses) 

(Should only be undertaken by the learners after they have had exposure to basic compulsory courses and courses on Research Methodology and Quantitative Analysis).
*Of the above, the first eleven courses are basic core courses, the last two (12 & 13) are integrative capstone courses and should be taken towards the end of the programme

Elective Courses :-

1. Social Processes and Behavioural Issues
2. Human Resource Development
3. Human Resource Planning
4. Union Management Relations
5. Managing Change in Organisation
6. Organisational dynamics
7. Working Capital Management
8. Capital Investment and Financing Decisions
9. Management Control System
10. International Financial Management
11. Security Analysis and Portfolio Management 
12. Operations Research
13. Project Management
14. Management of Information Systems
15. Production/Operations Management
16. Management of R & D and Innovation
17. Consumer Behaviour 
18. Sales Management
19. Product Management
20. International Marketing
21. Marketing of Services
22. Marketing of Research
23. Management of Public Enterprises
24. Management of New and Small Enterprises
25. Technology Management
26. International Business

(This is only a illustrative list indicating courses that are requisite in functional specialisations. Institutions may have additional specialisation or electives within specialisations) 

Project Work

In order to specialize in a functional area/such a learner should be required to choose 4-5 courses from that stream.


The minimum entry qualification to the Post-Graduate Programme in Management (MBA) is that a candidate should be a graduate in any discipline recognised by the Association of Indian Universities and should be employed at managerial/supervisory positions. A post qualification experience of 2 years at the managerial/supervisory level may be considered desirable.


The students of Post Graduate Programme (MBA) be admitted through entrance test. The written test should assess:

" Reasoning ability
" Comprehension and vocabularies
" General knowledge and 
" Quantitative abilities
to check preparedness of a student to undertake management studies. In addition to the above, it could also examine the students capability to learn through Distance Mode. The short listing of candidates may be done according to merit prepared on the basis of total profile which may include:
" performance in written test
" work experience
" previous academic records
" performance in group discussion and interview.

Written test should have at least 75% weight age in overall admission procedure. Where admission is not done on the basis of an All India entrance test, it would be desirable that candidate possesses minimum 50% marks in qualifying examination (Bachelor Degree).


Considering the learning experience to be provided to the students, the duration of MBA level Programme in Management should be minimum 3 years.


The intake of students to MBA Programme in a single year should be decided according to the infrastructure available with the Institutes, number of study centres, human resource available, audio/video support and library facilities etc. However, for the new institutions the number of the students intake should be kept to the minimum of 500 in the initial stage.


There are no restrictions in regard to intake except the eligibility of the candidate as per admission norms and the resource bases of the Institution, since it depends upon infrastructual resources. However, it is reasonable to set some numerical targets as follows:

a. Minimum number of properly equipped learning Centres attached to each Institutions


b. Maximum number of learners attached to each learning centres for new Institutions



Programmes should be offered on, semester basis. For the distance learner, a modular approach towards pursuing a long term degree programme is desired. The precise set of courses and programmes may largely be left for the institutions to decide within a broad parity with the programme structure enumerated above.
It is useful to agree on a common measure for the size of a course and a programme. Since there is already a fair amount of experience with the measure of credit by various institutes, a unit credit being defined as 30 hrs. of student effort, it may be useful to have: the same as a measure for MBA programmes in the Distance Mode. The break up of one credit worth of students effort, namely 30 hrs., should typically have the following components at the MBA level.

Study time

Approx. percentage of Credit

Print material including Audio/Video material


Work related exercises practical/Quizes and Assignments


Counselling services-face to face, through Teleconferencing/ Satellite etc.


An MBA programme should not be less than 90 credits. Programme should be designed to have total credit range of 90-130, with individual courses of not less than six credits each.


The learning resources are faculty/counsellors, print material and teaching aids including audio-video aids, video/audio conferencing and computer mediated learning etc. the learning material should be developed ab-initio and self-contained in all respect including the use of work books and structural assignments for continuous learning. The course material that are developed should go through the normal stages of quality control.
The major component, however is the interactivity and access to faculty/counsellors/mentors who could respond to students queries, provide feedback on assignments, organise discussion sessions and enthuse, motivate, encourage and facilitate learners to successfully pursue the programmes.
The counsellor should be qualified professionals with management degrees. While the role of human factor is very important and the minimum ratio of counsellors to learners per course should be 1:100 and the desirable ratio is 1:50. Programs with higher intake should attempt to recruit/retain/empanel counsellors who are specialists in as many of the different courses offered, and also seek to achieve a geographical spread depending upon the concentration/disposal of enrolment.
The use of modern technologies such as Video conferencing, computer mediated learning and Interactive Satellite aided communication network should be made use of, to provide quick feedback to the students and supplement the print material learning.
In order that the desired learning can take place through the distance mode, a greater effort is to be made in advance planning of learning materials and systems. It is therefore, important that accreditation/recognition of an institution to offer Management Programme (MBA) through distance mode should require the submission to AICTE-CODLand evaluation by an expert committee of the learning resource materials as well as a document specifying the various institutional processes. For this purpose the applying institutions would be required to submit a catalogue of learning resources which they propose to use and the requisite number of copies of the learning resources which may include inter-alia:

i. Camera Ready Copies (CRCs ) or a printed copy of course material to be sent to the students;
ii. CRCs or printed copies of structured assignments both computer marked,  tutor marked and project type;
iii. Detailed methodology of conducting project work and final evaluation mechanisms be identified;
iv. CRC or a printed copy of work books;
v. CRC of programme guide, incorporating materials about the need to know the study skills required in Distance Education System, learner study plans and other schedules;
vi. Video Cassettes to be used as part of the learning material;
vii. Audio cassettes to be used as part of the learning material;
viii. Participation of any Video Conferencing type activity for learner support;
ix. Use of any broadcast type facility either by television or radio for learner  support;
x. Detailed plan of use of extended contact programmes for learner support;  and 
xi. Detailed plan for use of computer network mediated learning for learner support 
To be provided to approving body. 
If any of such materials are to be used in collaboration with other institutions then requisite arrangements for permission to use such materials for the specific purposes must be provided.
Evaluation of the suitability of the institution to offer a programme by distance mode will be determined by evaluation of these materials and the learning strategies proposed for the purpose.


A Distance learning programme must have a schedule of activities within prescribed time frame. The suggested schedule may be as under:

a. Dispatch of text books and Study materials

Within a month after Registration of the Programme

b. Receipt of completed activities/assignments

Two or three graded assignment per course, per term

c. Evaluation of Students Activities/Assignments & feedback to students

Within four weeks of receipt of assignments

d. Response to students queries

Within a fortnight of receipt of query

e. Declaration of results after Examinations

Eight to ten weeks after the examination

f. Feedback to students after their Performance & progress in the programme

Once in every term or six months whichever is less

The Institution conducting the programme must have an administrative mechanism infrastructure to ensure the following activities:

a. Timely production of study material
b. Prompt dispatch of material to students
c. Computerized record keeping of student’s performance progress and feedback

However, in case of new institutions the above infrastructures shall be insured.
The Institute should maintain proper information system in relation to each of the above aspects.

A Distance Education Programme must have inbuilt Quality Control mechanism to ensure the proper conduct and maintenance of the quality of the programme. This can be facilitated by having a Board of Studies comprising experts from among the academicimans and practitioners I the area of the programmes offered by the Institution. the Board of Studies may set up the following opertional groups.
a. An expert group to design review and update the course curriculum and study material.
b. An examination Moderation group to check the proper conduct of examination and moderation of results.


Student evaluation systems should be comprised of both continuous, and end term assessments. Participants would be required to go through an examination system, where either marks (percentage) or a letter grade system may be employed.

The components of evaluation for each course should include the following: 

a. Assignments                          30 - 35% weight age
b. End-term examination         65 - 70 weight ages
Viva-voce could be made as one paper in Term-end exam.

The field project work should be assessed using the following components:

a. Proposal
b. Conduct of field work
c. Analysis
d. The final report presentation may include viva-voce

As part of Project evaluation, viva-voce may also be conducted, in case the examiner has doubt about the bonafide of the ogininality of the work and learner's self contribution.
However, in case, viva-voce is prescribed for the project work, it shall not exceed 20%
The minimum qualifying grade for each course including project work shall be 50% or equivalent grade.
In either case the following norms must be observed for the examination activities:
a. The panel of paper setters and examiners must be drawn from amongst academicians and practising experts who are not directly associated with the conduct of the     programme in any other capacity;
b. The security and confidentiality of the question papers and answer scripts must be maintained as in any University examination;
c. The conduct of the examination must be arranged with one invigilator for every 20 students


The staffing pattern should be discipline based. However, looking at the possibility of popularity of a programme, the additional staffing pattern requirements needs to be looked into.
A distance education programme institution must have three types of faculty as under:a. Full-time Core Faculty: It should comprise an academic manager, and at least a core faculty well versed in editing and production of quality study material for each areas of the programme. More faculty is required if the number of students for specialization goes up. 8-10 core faculty may be required to run a MBA programme with 3 or more specializations. In dual mode institutions where only delivery of the programme is involved, the number of core faculty should be at least one per specialisation area. The requirement of faculty in such institutions may be worked out in terms of person equivalent hours for DE programmes. 25-30% time of faculty should be devoted for self development and professional upgrdation of skills, research including consultancy.b. 

Part-time Retainer Faculty : At least one part-time faculty in each area of specialization may be retained on regular basis to assist the curriculum and course material development and will function as anchor point in the area of specialization at various stages of the programme, covering activities like preparation and periodic revision of study material, evaluation of assignments, responding to student inquires, counselling etc. However, when an institution claims specialization in a given field, it is advisable to have at least one core faculty member for each of the specialization.c. 

Resource Faculty : A panel of suitably qualified faculty will be maintained to assist in the writing of study material, preparation of assignments and their evaluation, interaction in the personal contact progrmmes, counselling, field work guidance and evaluation etc. This faculty will be judiciously distributed at various locations as per the strength of students and will be on assignments basis. Number of faculty should be balanced to cope with the courses on offer.d.

Counsellors and mentors : Management academics or professional should be associated with the counselling activity for Management Programme. The eligibility for selection as counsellors is given below:
" Postgraduates in Management or allied disciplines with atleast 5 years of relevant PG teaching experience or Managerial experience;
" Technology graduates with at least 5 years of relevant managerial experience

Expectation :
 The Counsellors are a very important component of programme delivery in the DE system. The expectation from counselors include advising, informing and counselling. Under DE system counsellors are expected to

" Provide pre entry and post entry counselling
" Conduct course based counselling sessions
" Help in evaluation both continuous and term end
" Help the learners in project preparation
" Help the learners motivated.

Approval : details of qualification and experience should be sent to the Management Faculty at headquarters and then approval taken. Only approved counsellors may be appointed. At any given time no counsellors may handle more than 4 courses

Training : Periodic orientation of the part time mentor/counsellor is the responsibility of the DE institution. All new counsellors must undergo orientation programmes. similarly wherever new programme/courses are introduced, orientation must be carried out.
Process for evaluation of Learning Material: Approved panel of experts at national level may be created and made available to regional offices. Whenever institution apply for approval, names of experts may be chosen from this panel. The composition of the panel may include:
Subject experts
DE Instructional design expert
Technical experts

If experts are drawn from DE Universities themselves the category 1 and 2 may be combined in one or more persons. To periodically monitor, writing learners may write the institution once in every 3 years 

The suggested load for the full-time equivalent of an individual faculty shall be as under:

1. Responsibility for course maintenance          :  upto two courses at a time
2. Preparation of study material                         :  one third of one course
3. Guidance of Project Work                                :   Ten per term
4. Counselling in contact programme Term.      :  15-18 hours per course per

The above norms are applicable to open universities and other institutions offering Management Programmes. The Institutions should set aside 25-30%of faculty time free which should be used for self-development, upgradation of professional skill, research and consultancy by faculty.
Term here means six months.


Fees should be realistic.
The fee should be able to cover the variable cost incurred on the programme and contribute towards the fixed cost.


The institutions should make efforts to encourage credit transfer. The criteria to be considered should include:
1. Equivalence of degree/diploma
2. Equivalence of course contents & coverage (Not less than 90%)
3. Parity of evaluation system
In no case should the credit transfer from a non-accredited institution be allowed.


There should be sufficient space for student interaction and moving around, comfortably and storing papers, library, computer media etc. in the neighborhood of the working area. A minimum of 6000 Sft. Floor area be available with the institution at the Headquarters and 1500 Sft. for each Study Centres.

The infrastructure facilities needed are for (a) the Headquarters and (b) Study Centres. The office space provided at Headquarter should be capable of accommodating the following:

Office of the Academic Manager, Faculty/Visiting Faculty, Library, Conference Room and Administration /Support Services, Storage of materials etc.

Additional space requirements depend on intake exceeding 100 students, provision of inhouse desk-top publishing system etc. The illustrative list of equipment required will include Telephone, computer, typewriter, audio-visual aids, over head projector, photo-copying . Desk-top publishing system is desirable for distance education institutions, internet facilities and down linking facilities and a/v aids.
One counsellor at a time should not have more than 4 courses for counselling. The desirable counsellor student ratio should be 1:60. The number of counsellors should be decided taking in consideration the number of courses offered and no. of students in the programme.


A well equipped library having sufficient number of books and resource material to supplement the students and faculty requirements are needed. It is recommended that a library should have initially minimum books titles 1500 across specialization comprising reference books, latest international and national titles and journals. Subsequently, at least 10% of the Tuition fee should be made available to provide the accessibility to library resources at the Study Centres/Headquarters. Besides these, the institutions should also subscribe journals/periodicals from both India and abroad to be in touch with contemporary developments and should also have collection of audio/video material.
At Study Centres - 100 book titles and 5 sets of complete course materials.


The number of computer required may vary from institution to institution depending upon the activities undertaken. It is advisable that every study centres should have computer connectivity. Wherever, computer is part of curriculum access to the computers be ensured.


Every Institution should evolve mechanism of Quality Assurance. Institutions should identify and publish a list of input, process and output indicators that they intend to use in monitoring and reviewing performance in distance education programmes against relevant institutional objectives. Each progrmme/course should have:
Clearly stated learning objectives;
Carefully constructed learning materials;
well organized student support systems; and
explicit exit performance standards.

The effectiveness of a programme through Distance Mode depends to a great extent on its development, production and delivery operations. Hence it is required to evolve suitable and appropriate monitoring procedures for these activities. The appropriate nodal points may be identified in the organisational structure of the institutions and monitoring functions may be assigned to concerned persons/organistion. Each Institution should devise proforma for self evaluation and forward a copy of the same at the end of each year of operation to CODL.


1. Existence of infrastructure or provision of infrastructure
2. Availability of requisite DE faculty
3. Proof that material preparation is under progress
4. Proof that Institution is Univ/Regd. Society/Trust
5. Endowment in case of new Trust/Society institutions 
6. Plan of preparation of material for 2nd year 
7. Schedule of progrmme delivery
8. Provision of adequate student support services.
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