Students will now be eligible to pursue two full time academic courses simultaneously, in the offline mode. University Grants Commission has prepared a set of guidelines which will be uploaded on the official website of UGC today. Previously, students were not permitted to pursue more than one degree at a point of time. They could however pursue online/short term/diploma courses along with a main course. The new guidelines will apply to all the courses across the country. Students will be able to take up two bachelor’s degrees, or two master’s degrees or a bachelor’s degree and a diploma program. Student’s can enroll in a UG and PG degree simultaneously provided that their class timings don’t clash. “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”, M Jagadesh Kumar, The chairman of UGC stated. Students are eligible to pursue two fulltime courses across domains in the fields of science, humanities, and commerce. However it is up to the universities to adopt these guidelines. Students will be able to pursue two full time courses only upon the approval of the guidelines by the respected statutory bodies of the university. There will be no change in the eligibility criterion of the programs and students will be admitted solely on the basis of merit and guidelines laid by the UGC. “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,” the UGC chairman stated. This decision by the UGC to allow two fulltime courses will not only help students to pursue two diverse fields, but also gain expertise in two specific areas. This move not only permits student’s to enrol for two physical programs, it also allows students to pursue two academic programs one in a physical mode, and the other in an online and distance learning (ODL) mode. Students can also opt for two online courses simultaneously. As universities require a minimum attendance, the universities will have to devise a method to calculate the attendance of students pursuing two courses at the same time. “UGC does not mandate any attendance requirements and these are the policies of the universities,” the UGC chairman stated. “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,” he added. He went on to inform that the commission will release a set of mandates on online education in the next couple of weeks following which several reputed institutions will start offering online degrees.
A three month online course has been introduced by the Maharashtra Government for the students who had to leave their...Read more