Students across colleges in India have always been eager for new opportunities to expand their career horizons. Aside from choosing newer education streams with vast potential (like nanotechnology, marketing psychology etc.), students also seek a more streamlined learning experience. Our colleges have been poised to take a step closer to international standards of learning. The good news on that front is, starting from the academic year of 2022-23, the University Grants Commission (UGC) is paving the way for a phenomenal education track option. Curious? Through this article, you’ll get all the information you need to know about this new development.

The UGC Announcement

– On Tuesday, 12th April 2022, UGC chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar issued a statement regarding the new provisions for students seeking to pursue two degrees simultaneously, and their associated guidelines.

– These developments have been in the pipeline since 2020. Following due deliberations and revisions, the guidelines were made official on Tuesday, and will be in practice from the next academic year (2022-23).

– A noteworthy point in the guidelines states that it is not mandatory for colleges to take up this new scheme. For the time being, the UGC will allow educational institutions under its jurisdiction to adopt the provisions as and how they see fit.

How The System Works

At its core, the new system permits students to enroll for and pursue two degrees at once. The key benefits of this are twofold:

– They allow students to complete their education in a much shorter timespan than before

– It unlocks immense potential for students to diversify their skill sets and become career-ready while still in college.

The new “dual degree” provisions aim to achieve these goals by facilitating cross-enrollment between degree streams. This provision is offered at the undergraduate, postgraduate and diploma levels. On another level, the new provisions offer flexible tutoring options, from classroom to online/distance learning. Bear in mind, however, that while a student can enroll in different streams (e.g. psychology and commerce), the provision is extended to non-technical courses only at the time of writing. Once the new system has crossed its grassroots phase, an expansion into technical fields might be on the cards.

Key Guidelines

Since the system is not mandatory for colleges as of now, the specifics of implementation are still a question mark.

– The UGC chairman has specified that the entry requirements/eligibility criteria for a particular degree are still based on the discretion of the respective institutions.

– Under this program, students will still have to fulfil the attendance criteria and other curriculum mandates as specified by the institute issuing the degree.

– While the voluntary participation in this program is to reduce strain on the educational framework, the idea behind it is incentivization of dual degree options.

Amidst the changing times and students feeling FOMO from a traditional campus experience, this UGC announcement comes as a silver lining. The full list of provisions and guidelines regarding this change has since been released by the UGC to colleges and university boards across the country. Time will tell how the developments pan out in practice. How do you think this will impact the upcoming academic year?

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