Students might soon be able to pursue multiple degrees simultaneously from different universities or the same university, with the University Grants Commission (UGC) studying the feasibility of the idea.
The UGC has set up a panel headed by its Vice Chairman Bhushan Patwardhan to examine the issue of pursuing two degree programmes simultaneously from the same university or different universities either through distance mode, online mode or part-time mode.
However, this is not the first time the commission is examining the issue. The UGC had set up a committee in 2012 as well and consultations were held on the same but ultimately the idea was junked.
“The panel was set up late last month and has already met once. Now consultations are being held with different stakeholders to explore the feasibility of the idea,” a senior UGC official told PTI.
The 2012 committee headed by then Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad University, Furqan Qamar, had recommended that a student enrolled in a degree programme under regular mode may be allowed to pursue a maximum of one additional degree programme simultaneously under open or distance mode from the same or a different university.
“However, two degree programmes under regular mode may not be allowed simultaneously as it may create logistic, administrative and academic problems. A student pursuing a degree programme under regular mode may be allowed to pursue a maximum of one certificate, diploma, advanced diploma, PG diploma programme simultaneously either in regular or open and distance mode in the same university or from other institutions,” the panel report had said.
According to UGC officials, “the commission had then sought comments of the statutory councils on the committee’s report and the responses received did not endorse the idea of allowing students to pursue multiple degree programmes simultaneously. Hence the plan did not take off”.
“It has now been decided to revisit the idea because technology has brought in lot of changes. There are vast majority of people who want to pursue specialised courses besides their regular degree programmes,” the official said.