What is National Digital University (NDU)?

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Prelims: Polity & Governance
What is National Digital University (NDU)? Blog Image


During the Education minister's session of ‘Voice of Global South’ summit held recently, Indian Union minister of Education talks about establishing a National Digital University, which will transform access to higher education drastically reducing all direct and opportunity costs.

Why in News:

  • The UGC Chairman recently revealed the framework of India’s first-ever National Digital University (NDU) as envisioned under the National Education Policy, 2020. 

About National Digital University (NDU):

  • What is it? The Central Government in its Budget 2022-23 announced the establishment of a digital university that provides access to students for world-class quality universal education with personalized learning experiences at their doorsteps.
  • Structure of NDU:
  • The institution will function under a hub-and-spoke model, which is where one product is delivered to various stakeholders from a central location. 
  • The digital content for various courses will be hosted on the Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) platform
  • The IT and administrative services will be provided through the government's Samarth portal. 
  • Facilities offered:
  • The university will offer exclusively online courses from its partner institutes, which could be both private and public universities, so far as they follow the NDU’s model.
  • The students can opt for certificate, diploma, or degree courses.
  • NDU will allow students to pursue multiple courses at a time from the various partner institutes of NDU.
  • Students will be able to register for programmes of individual universities through this Digital University. 
  • NDU aims to give students the liberty to design their own courses.
  • How are academic credits granted?
    • Students will have the option of earning credits from multiple institutions and will have multiple exit points throughout the course.
    • Courses will hold a certain number of credits, and students will be eligible for a degree from a particular institute when they have accumulated 50% of the credits of a programme from the institute concerned. 
    • In case the student earns credits from multiple institutions and crosses the credit threshold, the degree awarded will be by NDU.


Q1) What is SWAYAM platform?

Swayam is a platform that facilitates hosting of all the courses, taught in classrooms from Class 9 till post-graduation to be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time.

Source: Text of opening remarks of Union Minister of Education and Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship during Education Ministers’ Session of Voice of Global South Summit