Double degree a test for colleges

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Confusion prevails over the double degree programme norms of the University Grants Commission (UGC) as the implementation part has now fallen on the shoulders of the higher education institutions, and the UGC guidelines which could pose problems.

Hyderabad: Confusion prevails over the double degree programme norms of the University Grants Commission (UGC) as the implementation part has now fallen on the shoulders of the higher education institutions, and the UGC guidelines which could pose problems.

While the central universities, national universities, and autonomous institutions with infrastructure and flush with funds see an opportunity in offering the dual programmes, the state universities and government-run institutions in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh find it tough to implement it.

The main objective of allowing students to pursue two-degree programmes simultaneously in line with the National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) is to equip them to acquire multiple skills.

Accordingly, a student can pursue two-degree programmes simultaneously in face-to-face mode by physically attending the classes. Provided, the timings of each of the degree programmes shall not overlap with each other.

A student can pursue both the degree programmes either under the same university or at different universities. A student can also pursue one-degree programme physically and another through online and distance learning (ODL) mode. Or pursue both degree programmes simultaneously through ODL mode only from recognised institutions governed by UGC.

The irony is that while stating that there were some administrative issues that need to be considered to ensure that the system was effectively implemented and the goal is achieved, most of the institutions are not willing to openly come out with the problems as they fear it may be construed as opposing the new system and it may affect the flow of funds from the UGC.

Speaking to The Hans India, a senior professor from Osmania University said: "Some colleges and departments have been conducting few programmes in the evening college for long but mostly, they are professional masters and post-graduate diploma courses."

To conduct classes for undergraduate programmes for three years for a degree, and four years for an honour's degree (as per NEP), needs a different infrastructure, dedicated human resources and funding.

Another faculty member from the social sciences, Kakatiya University, said: "Students were allowed to take 40 per cent credit courses in online mode, institutions are asked to rope in Edtech companies for the development of course content but there are stipulations of UGC on the number of classes a faculty member is assigned."

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