UGC issues norms for students to do two programmes at once

What is the News?

The University Grants Commission(UGC) has issued guidelines to allow students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously at higher education institutes recognised by it or statutory councils or the Government of India.

What is the UGC Dual Degree Programme?

The UGC Dual Degree Programmes allow students to pursue two physical degrees from two different universities or institutions at the same time.

What is the aim behind this Programme?

The rationale behind the decision is to help students gain diverse skills. It is also aimed at translating the New Education Policy(NEP) vision of breaking down interdisciplinary separations. 

Applicability of the Programme

The Dual Degree Programme will be allowed for physical degrees, online degrees and even diploma programmes. It will be applicable for all academic programmes other than PhD.

But the students cannot claim the retrospective benefits of the programme.

Moreover, the time schedule for classes and other academic activities for both degree programmes do not clash with each other. 

This means that if a student is pursuing B.Tech from IIT Delhi in the morning or regular session, he can opt for a BA in Sanskrit from Delhi University, provided it is offered in the evening session.

What is the criticism against this decision?

Increase Burden on Universities: This decision will increase the load on universities. It also doesn’t increase the number of students enrolling in universities because the same student will study two courses. So, the gross enrolment ratio [GER] in higher education will not go up.

– Note: According to the All India Survey on Higher Education(AISHE) 2019-20, GER for higher education is at 27.1%. The NEP has set the target of raising this to 50% by 2035.

More Demand for Teachers: It will also lead to a demand for more teachers in universities when thousands of vacancies for current needs haven’t been filled. 

Source: This post is based on the article “UGC issues norms for students to do two programmes at once” published in The Hindu on 14th April 2022.

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