October 3, 2022, New Delhi, UGC Guidelines 2022: On September 28, 2022, the University Grants Commission (UGC) issued guidelines stating that students can now pursue two academic degrees at the same time, through traditional classroom mode, distance learning, or online mode.
The UGC also demanded the strict and immediate implementation of the same through a letter to the vice-chancellors of all universities and the principals of all colleges and institutes.
In the letter, the UGC states that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 instructs that pedagogy must change to make education more experiential, holistic, integrated, inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner-centred, discussion-based, flexible, and, of course, enjoyable. The guidelines have been formulated keeping in mind the NEP demands.
The UGC also stated, “The policy envisions imaginative and flexible curricular structures to enable creative combinations of disciplines for study, that would offer multiple entries and exit points, thus, removing the currently prevalent rigid boundaries and creating new possibilities for life-long learning and centrally involve critical and interdisciplinary thinking.”
The UGC Secretary, Rajnish Jain, also informed the vice-chancellors of the universities that, in response to the students’ growing demand for higher education and the limited number of seats in the regular stream, several Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have launched a number of programmes in the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode, acknowledging the changing trends, this guideline has come into existence.
It has been in the UGC’s long-term plans to make this transition. Consultations were held and a committee was formed by the commission in 2012 to look into the proposal. Nevertheless, the proposal was ultimately rejected. In 2020, it was given the go-ahead and finally, on September 27, 2022, the decision to let students pursue two full-time, same-level degree programmes in physical mode concurrently at the same university or from separate universities was announced by UGC Chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar.
UGC Guidelines 2022 – Important Highlights
- A student may enrol in up to two degree programs, one in full-time classroom mode and another in Open and Distance Learning (ODL), online mode, or up to two ODL and online programmes at the same time.
- If the class times for one programme do not conflict with the class times of the other programme, a student may also enrol in two full-time academic programmes in the physical mode.
- Only those HEIs (higher education institutions) that are approved by the UGC, Statutory Council, or the government of India to administer such programmes may offer degree or diploma programmes via ODL or online.
- Only students pursuing academic programmes other than PhD programmes are subject to the rules. Through their statutory bodies, universities can develop systems based on the rules that will let their students simultaneously enrol in two academic programmes.
- Elaborating on the guideline further, UGC Chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar said, “For example, a B.Sc. (Mathematics) student wants to do a B.A. in languages with a goal to study natural language processing later, that is a possibility. Or an M.A. in Physics may like to do a B.A. (Economics) with a goal to branch out into econophysics, that is a possibility. Econophysics is an emerging area where the physics models are used to study problems in economics.”
UGC Guidelines 2022 – Objectives
- This guideline’s main goal is to recognise, pinpoint, and support each student’s distinctive abilities by educating parents and teachers about the need to foster each student’s holistic development in both academic and extracurricular areas.
- In order to prevent undesirable hierarchies within and barriers between many fields of learning, it aims to achieve no rigid separations between the arts and sciences, curricular and extracurricular activities, vocational and academic streams, etc.
- In order to maintain the unity and integrity of all knowledge, it aims to promote multidisciplinarity and a holistic educational trend across the sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and sports.
- In addition to assisting individuals to develop their character, ethical and constitutional principles, intellectual curiosity, scientific temper, creativity, and spirit of service, it aims to give them the opportunity to study one or more specific fields of interest in depth.
- In order to develop thoughtful, well-rounded, and creative students, it seeks to provide them with a wide range of courses in the sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and languages, as well as professional, technical, and vocational areas.
- It aspires to promote economic independence while preparing students for more fulfilling and meaningful lives and careers.
UGC Guidelines 2022 – PhD Students Exempted from Pursuing Two Degrees at the Same Time
- According to this new guideline from the University Grants Commission (UGC), PhD students will not be permitted to pursue two academic degrees at the same time. However, students in all other programmes, such as diploma, undergraduate, and postgraduate ones, will be able to enrol in two academic programmes either in person or online.
- Students pursuing PhDs are not eligible for these dual degree programmes since they must concentrate on their research in order to contribute new information to their field.
- To read the official UGC guideline notification, please click here.
- To read more about UGC higher education guidelines, please click here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can PhD students pursue a second degree at the same time?
No. According to a new guideline from the University Grants Commission (UGC), PhD students will not be permitted to pursue two academic degrees at the same time. However, students in all other programmes, such as diploma, undergraduate, and postgraduate ones, will be able to enrol in two academic programmes either in person or online.
Can a student enrolled in a master’s degree programme pursue a bachelor’s degree at the same time?
Yes. Students enrolled in any diploma, undergraduate, or postgraduate programme may enrol in up to two-degree programs, one in full-time classroom mode and the other in Open and Distance Learning (ODL), online mode, or up to two ODL and online programmes concurrently. If the class times for one programme do not conflict with the class times of the other programme, a student may also enrol in two full-time academic programmes in the physical mode.
What is the full form of UGC?
UGC stands for the University Grants Commission.