An Analysis: The UGC's new rule for Blended Mode Learning in Higher Education and the challenges it lies ahead?

The Indian Govt. Higher Education regulatory body University Grants Commission (UGC) has rolled out a draft on "Blended Mode of Teaching and Learning," suggesting up to 40% of online teaching mode for any higher education course or program in India. The countries which had already set off similar changes in their educational systems, witnessing mass level technological transitions, suffered less compared to those that had relied entirely on the conventional mode of offline teaching and learning. As a developing nation, India has traditionally followed offline face-to-face learning approaches at all education levels. Still, the proposed move is welcomed with the changing times, but, at the same time, it comes up with challenges.
The pandemic brought up a shift from classrooms to computer screens and accelerated the implementation of technology-driven remote learning. Even in the post-pandemic time, the remote learning culture has continued and gained good traction, and it looks like people are comfortable with it now. People have got familiar with the non-conventional learning process as it proved suitable and uninterrupted in many respects. Thus, the entire teaching–learning mindset experienced a tremendous shift. But the challenges ahead can not be ignored in a developing country like India.
This concept of blended mode was mooted initially through the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020. This UGC draft has invited mixed reactions from the academic fraternity welcoming and expressing concerns about its implementation, future course, success, and repercussions. Amongst all the concerns and questions, the essential questions to be examined are whether India is equipped for such implementation at the higher education level. If so, what are the potential challenges, and how must they be addressed for practical enactment?
The Top few government universities like Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and IIMs, some top-level, instead, say expensive, privately deemed universities, could deploy an e-learning mode of instruction as the students there comes majorly from a good economic background. But, Internet access and electronic gadgets are not adequately available in rural areas and among the urban poor. As per a survey conducted by the University of Hyderabad, during the pandemic, only 50% of its students had laptops, and 45% had good internet connectivity, while most rural students had no access to the internet. Likewise, this is more or less the case throughout India.
Besides this Notably, An efficient governance system needs to be in place to ensure the copyright and intellectual property rights (IPR) of the contents or materials generated for e-learning purposes because, after the implementation of this UGC's draft, the role of teachers will be changed from that of a facilitator to an enabler of learning.