The Distance Education Bureau often referred to as DEB for short, is a bureau of the UGC (University Grants Commission) which is based in New Delhi, India. It handles the responsibility of regulating distance education in the country of India. It was established in 2012 and at the time, the Distance Education Council (DEC), which was an organization that was responsible for open school and distance education since 1985.
Distance education in India began in 1962 with correspondence courses, which led to the birth of the University of Delhi’s School of Correspondence Courses and Continuing Education. This project’s success led to the introduction of correspondence course institutes in more universities. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University was established in 1982, the first open university in India, which was closely followed by the establishment of Indira Gandhi National Open University in 1985.
The Distance Education Council (DEC) was set up by the IGNOU in 1991 and became operational with the Vice-Chancellor of the same as the acting ex officio chairperson.
In August 2010, the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development) constituted a committee for the investigation of distance education standards in India. On 29 December 2012, they published an order transferring the regulatory authority of distance education from IGNOU to UGC. The IGNOU dissolved the DEC in May 2013, establishing the Distance Education Bureau.