The dual degree academic programme, a work in progress, and the subject of much litigation for years, has finally been given legal sanctity by the University Grants Commission.
Key Highlights of guidelines
- Two academic programmes- The higher education regulatory body’s notified guidelines will enable students to simultaneously pursue two academic programmes at multiple levels except for PhD courses.
- Extension of the National Education Policy 2020 - It has projected it as a logical extension of the National Education Policy 2020, with its emphasis on facilitating multiple pathways to learning using formal and non-formal modes.
- Three way choice -The UGC has proposed a three way choice involving a combination of offline only; offline with distance mode; and distance/online only modes for dual programmes.
- Cornering of seats- The UGC has said a student can also pursue two fulltime programmes in physical mode. This is problematic as it might prompt students, who are academically proficient or with the economic wherewithal, to corner seats in two indemand courses.
- Logistics and Administrative problems- The UGC’s Furqan Qamar Committee, which a decade ago recommended dual programmes with a second degree in open/distance mode, had ruled out offering simultaneous degree courses under regular mode “as it may create logistic, administrative and academic problems”
- Lack of Infrastructure- In the All India Survey on Higher Education Report 201920, the national average college density stands at 30.