Monday, December 4, 2023

4-year UG degree with ‘common’ courses

UG degree

Revised rules for Ph. D

NEW DELHI, MARCH 17: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has prepared draft frameworks which, upon implementation, will overhaul the higher education structure ~ from under-graduate degrees to Ph. Ds ~ from the next academic session, in tune with the National Education Policy, 2020.
The frameworks, approved at the 556th meeting of the UGC Chairperson and members on March 10, are likely to be soon published in public domain for suggestions and feedback.
UGC Chairperson Prof M Jagadesh Kumar said the existing structure in undergraduate education “lacks multi or interdisciplinary flavour”. “Now, industries look for human resources with multiple capacities rather than specialists in one particular field. Therefore, students need to be exposed to a full range of holistic education, community engagement and service, environmental education and value-based education. Internships with local industry and businesses are also required in order to meet the demands of future jobs. For this to happen, the curriculum of general education needs to be transformed”, he said.
As per the proposed structure for 4-year UG courses, students will study a set of “common” and “introductory” courses in natural sciences, humanities and social sciences during the first 3 semesters, regardless of what they choose to specialise in.
The common courses include English language, a regional language, and courses on “understanding India”, environmental science, health and wellness or yoga and sports, Artificial Intelligence and big data analysis among others during the first 3 semesters.At the end of the 3rd semester, students will have to declare a “major”, which will be a subject they want to study in depth. The 4-year course shall have 160 credits on offer, with one credit accounting for 15 hours of classroom teaching.
Students can pick their choice of “major” from a basket of courses ranging from astronomy and astrophysics to political science. “Both the academic interest of the student and his/ her performance in the first 3 semesters will be considered for allocating the disciplinary/ interdisciplinary major”, says the draft framework.
Students will also have the option of picking two “minor” courses to broaden their knowledge and skills. These may be interdisciplinary in nature, which means that a student pursuing a “major” in science can opt for humanities or social sciences or even a vocational subject.
At the beginning of the 7th semester, students will have to take up a research project, which will be their only focus in the 8th and final semester, related to what they have chosen as “major”, says the draft.
The UGC has also proposed that 60% of the total seats for Ph. Ds be filled by NET/JRF qualified students and the remaining through entrance tests conducted by the universities. In terms of eligibility, the relaxation of 5% marks, which currently covers SCs, STs, OBCs (non-creamy layer), is proposed to be extended to EWS candidates also. Also, in line with the suggestion in NEP 2020, the M. Phil degree shall be abolished from the 2022-23 academic session, says the draft.
Prof Kumar said the draft regulations stipulate that all new Ph. D entrants, irrespective of discipline, will be required to take credit-based courses in teaching, education, pedagogy or writing related to their chosen subject and gain teaching experience during their doctoral training period. (Courtesy: IE)