DU and JNU set to introduce four-year undergraduate courses

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Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University are set to introduce four-year undergraduate courses and new online education models offered by the NDA government which some teachers believe will reduce the quality of education and endanger their jobs.

Delhi University had already introduced four-year undergraduate programs in 2013 in line with the US model, but Narendra Modi’s government scrapped the system immediately after coming to power in 2014, citing technical details of the approval process. .

DU’s main decision-making body, its executive board, will meet on Tuesday to approve the changes, which are part of the national education policy.

JNU’s executive board will do so on Thursday – after approving the introduction of a range of undergraduate courses at a research-intensive university that primarily taught masters and doctoral programs.

The four-year undergraduate program will allow multiple entry and exit points – with a certificate after one year, a diploma after two years, and a diploma after three years.

However, some teachers opposed to the move pointed to “confusion” over nomenclature: four-year programs allow for an honors bachelor’s degree after three years, as well as a four-year honors bachelor’s degree – and a “four-year honors bachelor’s degree”. a discipline with research ”if the student submits a dissertation.

JNU and DU are also expected to implement the ‘Academic Credit Bank’ (ABC), which allows students enrolled at a particular university to study up to 50% of non-core subjects from any other university of their choice, online or offline. It was one of many education measures Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced last month.

Credits obtained from the other university can be deposited in the ABC and redeemed upon award of the mother university degree.

DU academic council member Mithuraaj Dhusiya said multiple entry and exit options and ABC would reduce teachers’ workload “and the teacher’s job will be called into question.”

RP Tiwari, a former member of higher education regulator UGC and a follower of online education and the four-year undergraduate system, said fears of a reduced workload were overblown.

Regarding concerns about the quality of online education – voiced by former AU Executive Board member Rajesh Jha to this newspaper – he said that the UGC’s ready-to-use e-content pool had passed the quality checks.

He said teachers will now have new opportunities to plan and develop online courses in interdisciplinary subjects that can be offered as electives within particular programs.

“In each academic program, 50 percent is core study while the remaining 50 percent must be chosen from a list of elective courses,” said Tiwari, currently vice-chancellor of Central University of Punjab.

“Universities now have fixed lists of approved electives – students don’t have a lot of options. “

UGC advertises the development of electronic content to ensure quality, Tiwari said. Teachers from various universities send in their concept notes and short videos presenting an overview of the course. A committee of experts selects one of them.

Tiwari said the multiple entry and exit points were intended to help students from disadvantaged segments – who often drop out due to lack of resources – to return at any time and resume their studies.

“The blended education mode (online and offline) is the global model. Electronic content will be shared with students for viewing at home. The classroom will be devoted to dispelling doubts, ”Tiwari said.


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