The distance mode of education is not likely to hamper your career - prospects provided it is recognised by the University - grant commission and by tracking down the affiliation of UGC mode, one can go ahead with such courses.
There are recognised universities offering the education through distance mode but are well recognised in terms of UGC status such IGNOU, Manipal - distance education, Karnataka Open University, Utkal University Distance - education etc and the degrees persued from such universities is not going to dilute the standard of the degrees imparted by such institutions.
With respect to your entry as an associate professor, there are two ways - the first one being a NET qualifier by securing a minimum 55 percent in the post - graduate level and then passing the NET examination conducted by CBSE twice in a year or resorting to second option where you will be required to obtain a Ph.D degree from an eminent university with an able guide and your published work should be of high standard. You may look out the advertisement published in some leading News Papers where you may notice the vacancies of lecturers, associate - professors etc. Your selection would depend upon your satisfactory performance in the interview.
You can also join a private college and can carry out your Ph.D under the guidance of a reputed professor and in that way, you can earn a good remuneration and a doctorate degree can be achieved which will ultimately widen your career in the educational- field.