A COMMITTEE set up by the University Grants Commission (UGC) has pitched the introduction of the four-year undergraduate programme, five years after Delhi University (DU) was forced to scrap the same at UGC’s behest.
The recommendation has been made by a four-member panel headed by Professor P Balaram, former director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The committee tasked with drafting the new National Education Policy had also suggested a similar transition — from three-year to four-year — undergraduate programmes in June.
“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,” Balaram committee report states.
“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 programme was introduced by DU in 2013. Although UGC did not object at the time of introduction, after the NDA-II government was sworn in, the higher education regulator directed the university to withdraw the course on the grounds that it did not fit the national education policy which advocates a 10+2+3 (10 years up to secondary school + 2 years of high school + 3 years of undergraduate education) format. —(With PTI inputs)