A University Grants Commission (UGC) panel has recommended the introduction of a four-year programme from the current three-year undergraduate course for promoting and improving quality of research in colleges and universities. The development comes five years after the controversial Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) was scrapped.
Apart from the four-member committee of the UGC, an HRD Ministry panel working on the new National Education Policy (NEP) had also recommended a transition to four-year UG course.
“Increase the number of universities offering the four-year undergraduate programme, with a strong research component to provide the pipeline for good quality students for the doctoral programme,” the committee, headed by professor P Balaram, former director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, said in its report, according to PTI.
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“Also, the existing two-year MA and MSc programs should have a research project with a requirement of typically 6-10 credits. It may be important to stop undergraduate programmes that are limited in scope (for example in specialised subjects like Biotechnology or Bioinformatics ), as they provide training only in specialised subjects,” the report further said.
“All full-time undergraduate programmes must be broad-based. Professional and vocational courses that facilitate jobs should be run separately as Diploma courses,” the report added.
The Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) introduced by the Delhi University under the previous vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh was scrapped by former Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani.
The NEP panel, led by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan, which submitted its report to Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, has recommended re-introduction of the four-year course as part of undergraduate reforms.
“Both three-year and four-year courses will be allowed to co-exist, but with multiple exit and entry options. The four-year programme will provide for greater rigour and allow students to conduct research optionally,” the NEP draft said.
“Students will graduate with a four-year Liberal Arts Science Education degree with Honours, or may graduate with a B Sc, BA, B Com or B Voc after completing three years with a suitable completion of credits within their subject,” it said.
– With inputs from PTI