College Disha
Distance Learning Colleges in India

Update on 2024-04-15

Top Distance Education Universities in India | List of Colleges, Admission Process, Fees, Eligibility, UG & PG Course

Top Distance Education Universities:

Distance learning is a mode of learning and studying remotely from a place without being a part of the regular face-to-face contact with a teacher and classroom attendance. More than 3 lac students appear for distance learning programs offered by various  Distance Education Universities. The students may range from working men and women to those that hold part-time jobs and they may also include a variety of students who wish to be a part of a program that is offered by a university or college institution that is far away from their current place of residence. 

Distance Education Universities in India are usually recognized by the board and accredited institutions such as the Ministry of Education under the Government of India. To be able to best serve the needs and academic standards set by society, a recognizable course offered by a recognized university is an essential first step that students should ensure. Distance learning has evolved a lot since the old times, with the impact of technology felt in this arena as well, through online learning and e-learning. There are various types of distance courses available in India, such as, 

  • Distance Education via Video Conferencing
  • Synchronous and Asynchronous Distance Education
  • Open Schedule Online Classes
  • Hybrid Distance Education
  • Fixed Time online Classes
  • Computer-Based Distance Education

Distance Education via Video Conferencing is simple to understand, as it involves taking online classes and teaching, grading assignments, etc via video conferencing by using such mobile and desktop applications such as Skype, Zoom, etc. 

The second type, Synchronous and Asynchronous Distance Education is when a pupil and his or her teacher require the student to log in at a set time on set days. This is when the teacher and the pupil are expected to be present at the same time preferably at different places. Asynchronous Distance Learning is the opposite when teachers and pupils are present at different times at different places. The students can complete their work whenever they can or wish to do so. 

Open Schedule Online classes are classes where students set in their preferred time slots including the days they can take out for study and learning. This is entirely up to the pupil and the courses are usually self-paced and progress through them is entirely up to the students. A Hybrid Distance Education or learning classroom allows the teachers to share the content such as resources and assignments, etc with the student's life, that is in the classroom, and they can also view it online from a remote location and watch it whenever they can. 

The last two types, that is, Fixed Time online classes and Computer-based distance learning are roughly the same. Students are to take part in the classes and learning modules at fixed times, which are usually intimated by the university or colleges. 

Ever since the reforms that have started recently in the education system of India, distance education has become greatly popular among the students, attracting a greater number of students every year from both India and Abroad. One reason for its gaining popularity is that students can pursue two courses at the same time, making it easy for them to finish their education in a calculated amount of time, rather than one degree after the other. This benefit is not possible in the regular or full-time mode of education.  

Top 10 Distance Education Universities in India:

There are many  Distance Education Universities. Students must know that before choosing a university and course, it must be approved and authorized to avoid getting scammed. Authorities such as the Distance Education Bureau (DEB) of the University Grants Commission (UGC). However, due to the shortage of space and time, we have listed some of the best-known and reputed universities below along with important and brief details regarding each. 

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU): IGNOU is a National-Level Open University that provides all types of courses ranging from undergraduate to postgraduate and even diploma courses. It was established in New Delhi to provide high-level quality education and opportunities for people all over India and even Abroad. It aims to encourage, coordinate and set academic standards that surpass all distance and open learning institutes in the world. The point that sets this distance learning university apart is the simple fact that the syllabus and academic curriculum form the mainstay of the courses. Apart from that, the research, extension, and training, as well as practical exposure, provide the much-needed training for skills. 

Lovely Professional University: Lovely Professional University is one of those many universities which provide full-time regular courses alongside distance learning courses to their students. It started operating in the year 2006 and has come a long way since then, admitting thousands of students every academic year. It is completely recognized under the University Grants Commission UGC and the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE). Apart from these national-level affiliations, it is also accredited with the Council of Architecture (COA), Pharmacy Council of India (PCI). Lovely Professional University is also a member of the Association of Indian Universities (AIU). There are many schools such as Mittal School of Business, School of Mechanical Engineering, etc that come under the Lovely Professional University name or rather brand name.

Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu: Annamalai University is a public state university which is located in Tamil Nadu. The university is spread across 950 acres offers courses in the fields of Arts, Commerce, Science, Engineering, Medical, Management, Humanities, Agriculture, and Physical Education, apart from many other sub-specializations. The university provides more than 500 courses to its students through the mode of distance learning. It is also one of the postgraduate degree programs in Applied Psychology, Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Botany, Bioinformatics and Law, Business Administration and Management (MBA) through Distance Education. The university is accredited with the National Assessment and Accreditation Council Grade 'A'. The faculty of Agriculture of the university is accredited with ICAR (NAEAB). 

Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak: The university is fully accredited with an 'A+' Grade by NAAC. Established in the year 1976 and was named after the saint Dayanand.  The university offers courses in many fields of study at the undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels. It also provides both full-time on-campus and open distance learning. It also provides courses and programs through other colleges, institutes, and centers throughout the region, just like collegiate universities usually do. Home to over one lac students, its course curriculum and syllabus are up to date with experts behind designing and developing course structures. Students are taught and ensured a proper all-round development from their course and studies through equal attention on practical and theoretical aspects of the courses. Maharishi Dayanand University was ranked in the 122 in India by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) along with 90 among universities. 

Amity International University, Noida: Amity University, a private university in Uttar Pradesh offers a variety of courses in distance education modes. Established in the year 2005 by an Act of the State Legislature of Uttar Pradesh. It is equally recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and awarded by the NAAC with a Grade 'A+'. This university is a part of the family of universities and colleges situated worldwide, provides a host of courses and programs to students in both modes. The benefit of studying in a university like this provides a host of global exposure to its students and makes them privy to a variety of amazing course programs such as student exchange programs, etc. Studying in a university like this usually helps form the personality and overall skill set of an individual and gives them an edge over other candidates. 

WE School, Mumbai: WE School is a private business school in India, offering business-specific and specializations under the business management degrees for students. We Students can hope to gain a wide range of experience and global exposure since it has a variety of global links and affiliations with various schools. Schools provide a holistic and developed mode of learning for their students by providing world-class facilities and global exposure. It has global links in business schools located in Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK, etc. It has postgraduate, undergraduate, diploma levels, and a variety of other sub-categories of courses for its students. Hence, if you are a student who wishes to study or pursue a business-specific qualification and are open to studying from an open mode of learning, WE Schools are the perfect match. 

Uttar Pradesh Rajarshi Tandon Open University, Uttar Pradesh: is a public university located in Uttar Pradesh. The university provides access to students of all creeds, castes, gender to an equal standard of education. It is specifically focused on providing a set standard of academic qualifications to the underprivileged, disadvantaged sections of society, especially those living in rural areas or remote areas. Homemakers, working people, the poor, and people belonging to a backward section of society usually benefit largely from this university. It provides all the required traditional courses such as undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma level, programs, etc to students. Some of the programs offered are First-degree programs, general diploma, certificate programs, computer programs, Vocational programs, professional programs, adult and continuing education programs, etc. 

School of Open Learning, New Delhi: The School of Open Learning (SOL), is a component of the Delhii University brand mark. Established in the year of 1962, it has continued to set academic standards and qualifications throughout the country. It is effectively UGC accredited. It is among one of the largest distance education colleges in India, with approximately five lac students admitting themselves to the school every academic year. The school offers undergraduate, postgraduate degree courses in different subjects of the streams of Arts, Commerce, and Humanities, etc. It is ideal for students who wish to pass out and have a result card with the brand mark of the University of Delhi. It is a highly respected open school for different courses and students alike. For some students, to gain admission in courses usually entails appearing for an entrance exam or subject-specific university-level entrance exam or the equivalent national or State level entrance exams. Hence, to gain admission in one of the respected institutions and learn with the benefits of the distance learning module is a very coveted dream.

Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal: The Sikkim-Manipal University Distance Education was set up in the year 2001. Its main aim is to provide professional distance learning programs to students far and wide. Courses are offered in subjects like Management, Information Technology, Science fields, etc. Students should also note that all the courses are provided by the university are duly authorized and recognized by the University Grant Commission (UGC) and the Distance-Education Board (DEB). The distance education program at Sikkim Manipal University helps students and like-minded adults to pursue their careers while they study alongside. This provides the candidates with undertaking such courses a career development opportunity. They can go on to work in multinational firms in both the public and the private sector undertakings across a wide range of business verticals, including telecom communication fields, manufacturing, software industries, automobiles banking, etc. 

Eligibility Criteria of Distance Education Universities:

After listing the different distance education colleges in India, we will move on to the eligibility criteria and the admission procedure that students who wish to pursue any distance education course from the universities listed above, or the many others in the country, have to go through. Students should know the type and name, of course, they wish to pursue, since a lot of colleges and universities may have different protocols for the courses along with specific guidelines for eligibility and other criteria. 

Eligibility  to pursue Distance Learning Courses:

For students to get admission to any university and a course, they need to fulfill certain eligibility criteria set by the authorized board or university guidelines. The eligibility criteria may vary from university to university or even college to college, however, the basic set of guidelines are as follows. 

  • Candidates must have attained the minimum age limit of 18 years to be eligible to pursue any course via distance education. 
  • There is no maximum age limit for candidates who wish to pursue distance learning universities. 
  • For admission to Bachelor's courses offered by any university or college, candidates need to fulfill the minimum marks criteria required by the institute. 
  • For admission in Master's courses, candidates usually need to score at least a minimum of 50% marks in their qualifying degree. 
  • Some universities prefer students to have pursued their previous educational qualification degree from a recognized university or educational board. That is, students hoping to pursue BAchelors must have completed their 12th grade from a recognized educational board. The same goes for students who wish to pursue a Master's who must have completed their BAchelor's from a recognized board. 
  • Some colleges offer admission to students based on their performance in entrance exams that they conduct or the national level, State Level entrance exams that are relevant for the specific course the students have applied for.  

Below we have a table that summarizes the usual eligibility requirements of the specific courses the students wish to pursue through the  Distance Education Universities in India.

Type of Degree


Bachelor’s Degree (Graduation Degree)

Candidates must have a passing certificate in BPP (Bachelor Preparatory Program) or a 10+2 pass. 

Master’s Degree (Post Graduation)

Graduate or a pass from any relevant Bachelor’s course.

Certificate Level Courses

Candidates must be an 8th class pass out or a 10th pass is mostly preferred. 

Diploma Level Courses

Candidates preferred are usually 10+2 pass-outs. 

Postgraduate Diploma Courses

Candidates must have a passing graduation certificate.  

Doctoral Degrees (M.Phil and Ph.D.)

Candidates must have a post-graduation degree along with some amount of work experience. 

Distance Education Universities in India Admission Process:

The application process is usually pretty simple. Students generally need to fill out an application form along with the prescribed application fee. Generally, the admission process for  Distance Education Universities/Colleges in India is online, however, there may be some universities in India that provide both offline and online admission procedures for their students. Students download the application or registration form from the official website of the university or college. For institutes that provide admission procedures offline, students can collect their registration or application forms from the university-approved study board. 

Students fill out the registration form in the medium of the language they will study the course (that is, English, Hindi, etc). A duly filled application form is submitted along with attachments or uploads of the self-attested mark sheets and certificates of previous education of the candidate. This is uploaded if the candidate is filling out the application form online or submitting it to the study center. 

Required Documents during the admission procedure:

Candidates need to submit or upload the following documents at the time of their filing of the application form. Students should know that they should submit photocopies to the study center if applying for admission through the offline mode. The documents are:

  • Self-attested copies of School or College Leaving Certificate
  • Self-attested copies of Academic Certificates such as (10th or 12th or graduation or post-graduation) mark sheet as per the eligibility requirement.
  • Original Migration Certificate (for students coming from other universities)
  • Passport-sized photographs of the candidate.  
  • Address Proof 
  • Application Form fee or Admission fee
  • Permission Letter from the employer (if working)
  • Special Category Certificate (If any)

Hence, candidates interested can take a look at the official web portals of the Distance learning colleges in India. They should be able to find helpful and catered information specific to their course. 

Distance Education Universities in India: Courses:

Distance Learning Colleges in India offer a wide array of courses for their students. Below we have listed most of the courses which are offered in the distance mode.   

Undergraduate Distance Learning Courses

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Botany
  • Bachelor of Hospitality and Hotel Administration
  • Bachelor of Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Agriculture
  • Bachelor of Geography
  • Bachelor of Geology
  • Bachelor of Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Zoology
  • Bachelor of Physics
  • Bachelor of Counselling and Family Therapy
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Computer Applications
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Technology (Construction Work), etc.

Postgraduate Distance Learning Courses

  • Masters of Arts
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Tourism Management
  • Master of Science in Dietetics and Food Service Management
  • Master of Interior Design
  • Master of Fashion Management and Design 
  • Master of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Master of Science in Information Technology
  • Master of Computer Applications
  • Bachelor of Education 
  • Master of Library and Information Sciences, etc

PG Diploma Courses in Distance Learning

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Audio Program Production
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Library Automation and Networking
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Management and Administration
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Operations Management
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Radio Prasaran
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Geriatric Medicine Educational Technology
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Disaster Management
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Management
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Radio Writing
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Process Outsourcing
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Technology
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental and Sustainable Development
  • Post Graduate Diploma in School Leadership and Management for Head Teachers
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital and Health Management
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Maternal and Child Health
  • Post Graduate Diploma in International Business Operation
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Writing for Television
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Translation
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Distance Education
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Right, etc. 

Certificate level courses in Distance Learning

  • Certificate in Visual Arts (Painting, Applied Art, etc)
  • Certificate in Performing Arts (Theatre Arts, etc)
  • Certificate in Disaster Management
  • Certificate in Languages (Arabic, French, etc)
  • Advanced Certificate in Information Security
  • Advanced Certificate in Power Distribution Management
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Copyediting and Proofreading, etc

PhD. Distance Learning Courses

  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Economics
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Hindi
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Political Science
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Child Development
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Library and Information Sciences
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Rural Development
  •  Doctorate of Philosophy in Physics
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in English
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Education
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Management
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Distance Education
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Tourism
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Commerce
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Mathematics
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Women's Studies
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Sociology
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Social Work, etc. 

There are many more courses that colleges and universities provide. Students should go on the official web portals of the interested universities or colleges and search for specific courses or courses in the related field. Hence, to conclude the article we would like to list down the various pros and cons of distance education in India. 

Distance education is on a hot streak at the moment and more and more students admit themselves into the distance learning courses and colleges every academic year. To round up the different benefits and drawbacks of learning via distance education, see the table below.

Advantages of Distance Education In India


The classroom is a thing of the past. Learning and studying are not confined to the four walls of a classroom or a school building. Distance learning provides the ability for students to study anywhere, anytime. 

Earn and Learn

Students have the time to partake in part-time jobs or improve their skills through internships and jobs. This enables students to gain valuable practical experience alongside theoretical knowledge.

Saves time

Learning through Distance education leaves a lot of time on hand since the time required in attending lectures, transportation, etc are not needed anymore. This saves a lot of valuable time for students to concentrate on other aspects of their life creating a balance between work and personal commitments.

Less Investment

Distance learning courses require a lesser amount of money in terms of fees, etc. This is ideal for students who hail from backward classrooms.

Self Study

Students develop the art of self-studying since they are required to study on their own most of the time.  

Cons of Distance Learning Courses

Lack of communication and/or interaction

Distance learners may not get the proper support from the college or university staff, although usually, that is not the case. 

Lack of a timetable

Schools and classrooms provide a holistic timetable which makes it easier to study when the “study-time” slot comes. When we are left to our own devices with no one to answer to, it may give way to laziness or procrastination.  

Lack of atmosphere

School-life or campus atmosphere is heavily absent when it comes to distance learning. 

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We hope this article on distance education and Distance Education Universities in India helped you to get a clearer picture of the scenario in today’s world when it comes to online education.

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