The University Grants Commission (UGC) released on Thursday a draft program framework for four-year undergraduate programs (FYUGP) which will be implemented in all higher education institutions starting from the next academic session 2022 -23.
As part of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, universities and colleges will now offer 4-year undergraduate degrees with multiple exit and entry options. Several universities, including Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University, have already decided to adopt these programs from this year.
The program is divided into eight semesters and students will need 160-176 credits for a four-year honors/research degree. A credit is a unit by which course work is measured. One credit is equivalent to one hour of teaching (lectures or tutorials) or two hours of practical or field work per week.
In accordance with the draft UGC document entitled “Curriculum Framework and Credit System for the Four-Year Undergraduate Program”, FYUGP students will study a set of “common” and “introductory” courses in the natural, humanities and social sciences during the first three semesters. , regardless of the course chosen: science, humanities or commerce.
Common courses include English, a regional language, courses on “understanding India”, environmental science, health and wellness or yoga and sports, artificial intelligence and science. big data analysis.
At the end of the third semester, students will have to declare a “major”, which will be a subject they wish to deepen. In addition to the major, a student will also choose two minors relating to a disciplinary or interdisciplinary field of study, including a professional education program.
At the beginning of the seventh semester, each student will take a research project as well as advanced disciplinary/interdisciplinary courses and courses in research methodology.
“The last or eighth semester will be devoted exclusively to the research project. The project must be related to a topic in the chosen ‘main’ disciplinary curriculum or an interdisciplinary topic that significantly overlaps with major disciplinary/interdisciplinary curricula,” the project states.
The FYUGP will be a flexible program with options for multiple outputs and inputs. Students will receive a certificate after completing 1 year (2 semesters) of study in the chosen fields of study, a diploma after 2 years (4 semesters) of study, a bachelor’s degree after a 3-year program (6 semesters) of studies, a bachelor’s degree with honors or research after a 4-year program (eight semesters).
The credit requirement at each level has also been fixed. Approximately 40-44 credit hours will be required for a certificate, 80-88 for a diploma, 120-123 for a diploma and 160-176 credits will be required for an honors/research degree.
In special circumstances, students will be entitled to an extension, to allow them to complete all degree requirements. The FYUGP will also allow credit accumulation through the facility created by the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) program. The validity of the credits obtained would be seven years.
After completing a FYUGP with research with at least 7.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA), students will be eligible to enroll in doctoral courses along with those pursuing or have completed postgraduate coursework.
The draft framework emphasized that it was compulsory for students to undertake internships in local industry, businesses, artists and artisans, among other things to actively engage in the practical side of their learning and, in addition, to improve their employability. These internships will be required before leaving the course at any time.
The commission has sought stakeholder input on the draft framework by April 4.
Meanwhile, a section of teachers have raised concerns about the FYUGP framework. “The idea of spending 3 semesters on modules that will be common to all students is an extremely wrong idea and was one of the major reasons for the rallying of students against the FYUGP model at the DU imposed in 2013. After schooling, which ends with intense studies of certain elective subjects only, the loss of student time in higher education by diluted common modules for all courses diffuses the attention of students. Common modules for all students means they won’t even be at the level of class 11 and 12,” said Abha Dev Habib, associate professor at Miranda House College, University of Delhi.
Rajesh Jha, Professor at DU’s Rajdhani College, said, “The drastic reduction in credits under the FYUGP will remove the academic rigor and quality required for direct entry to PhD.