UGC Guidelines 2022: In the view of the proposals advised in the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 which emphasizes the need to facilitate multiple pathways to learning involving both formal and non-formal education modes, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently introduced a new academic format.
In the new format, students will be able to pursue two different full-time courses whether one in full-time physical mode and another in Open and Distance Learning (ODL)/ Online mode; or up to two in physical modes or ODL/ Online programs simultaneously and as a consequence of these, the UGC has released the new UGC guidelines for the students to pursue such courses.
The NEP-2020 with its vision to make education more experiential, holistic, integrated, inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner-centered, discussion-based, flexible, and, of course, enjoyable has taken steps to remove the existing rigid model of the academic system by introducing scope for new possibilities to build up a multidisciplinary system with the integrity of knowledge.
With the increasing interest of the students in multidisciplinary courses and higher education, the limited availability of seats has led Higher Education Institutions (HEI) to facilitate a number of programs in Open/ Distance Learning (ODL) mode and online education programs to meet the aspirations of students.
After examining the above issues of the students’ interest and keeping in mind the NEP 2020 the University Grants Commission (UGC) has formulated this new guideline for allowing students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously in any pair of modes be it physical or online from the same or different universities.
- The UGC guidelines say that students can pursue two full-time academic courses in the physical mode provided that the class timings for one program should not overlap with the class timings of the other programme.
- Students can also pursue two academic programmes, one in full-time physical mode and another in Open and Distance Learning (ODL)/ Online mode; or up to two ODL/ Online programmes simultaneously.
- The Degree or diploma program under ODL/ Online mode shall be pursued with only higher institutions that are recognized by UGC/ Statutory Council/ Govt. of India for providing such programmes.
- The Degree or diploma program under these guidelines shall be governed by the Regulations notified by the UGC and also the respective statutory/ professional councils, wherever applicable.
- These UGC guidelines shall come into effect from the date of their notification released by the UGC. No benefit can be claimed by the students who have already done two academic programs simultaneously prior to the notification of these guidelines.
UGC guidelines for Ph.D. students
The UGC guidelines released recently have clearly mentioned that the facility for pursuing two academic programmes simultaneously shall be applicable only to the students pursuing academic programs other than the Ph.D. programmes. So for the time being, there will be no benefit for Ph.D. students from these new UGC guidelines, the decision seems to be made in consideration of the fact that research works, just as it is done during Ph.D. programmes need almost attention and time.
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