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UGC allows students to pursue two full-time degree programmes simultaneously

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: In a move to improve their career prospects, the University Grants Commission (UGC) on Tuesday allowed students to pursue two full-time degree programmes simultaneously in physical mode, as per sources.

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“UGC to allow students to pursue two full-time degree programmes simultaneously in physical mode,” said UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar.

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Speaking at a press conference, Kumar said, “As announced in the new National Education Policy (NEP) and in order to allow students to acquire multiple skills, UGC is coming up with new guidelines to allow a candidate to pursue two-degree programs in physical mode simultaneously. The degrees can either be pursued from the same or different universities.”

“In the last commission meeting held on March 31, it was decided to issue guidelines which will enable students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously because the NEP 2020 emphasises the need to facilitate multiple pathways to learning involving both formal and non-formal education forms, in the sense that a combination of the physical model, as well as the online form, should be used to provide more freedom to the students to acquire multiple skills,” UGC chairman, Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar said.

Following the new guidelines, students will be able to pursue two degree programmes across domains such as sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and a wide variety of disciplines. Adopting these guidelines is optional for universities and can be implemented only after the approval of the universities’ statutory bodies. The eligibility criteria for each of the programmes will remain unchanged and admissions will be conducted based on the existing UGC, university norms.

“A student can pursue two full-time academic programmes in the physical mode provided that in such cases, class timings for one programme do not overlap with the class timings of the other programme. Universities will have the flexibility to decide if they want to offer such a scheme of programmes or not. The guidelines will only be applicable to lecture-based courses, including undergraduate, postgraduate, and diploma programmes. MPhil and PhD programmes will not fall under the same scheme,” Kumar added.

Since all academic programmes have minimum attendance requirements for students to be able to take the exams, universities will have to devise the attendance criteria for these courses. “UGC does not mandate any attendance requirements and these are the policies of the universities,” Kumar added.

“With the rapid increase in demand for high-quality higher education and the limitation of only enrolling about 3 per cent of students on physical campuses, there have been many developments in the fields of open and distance learning, as well as online education. Many universities are now offering both offline and online programmes,” said Kumar, adding that the UGC will release modified regulations for online education in a couple of weeks, after which many top-quality institutes in India will start offering online degrees.

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