Mixed Response from Educationists on UGC’s 4-Year UG Programme

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Thursday invited comments/suggestions/feedback from all stakeholders on the draft framework ‘Curricular Framework and Credit System for Four Year UG Programme’. This has evoked a mixed response from the educationists of the state.

The four-year undergraduate program (FYUGP) draft prepared by the UGC seeks to equip students with capacities in fields across the arts, humanities, languages, natural sciences, social sciences, and an ethic of social engagement. Students will also get soft skills such as complex problem solving, critical thinking, creative thinking, communication skills, along with rigorous specialization.

While several educationists liked the FYUGP, some of them did not like the reform related to Ph.D. It states that a student is eligible for direct admission in Ph.D. after completion of a four-year undergraduate program with research.
Educationist Pritish Acharya said FYUGP would produce quality graduates. “This is a good program for the students. However, the UG program is not sufficient for a student to enroll in a Ph.D. program. There should be post graduation (PG) program before enrolling for Ph.D.,” he added.

Siba Prasad Adhikary, the former vice-chancellor of FM University, Balasore, said national education policy (NEP) has already stated about the four-year UG program. “Why did UGC come up with a new draft now? It should not complicate the programs by coming up with new things. Ph.D. after the UG program is over is not advisable. More discussions are needed on this,” he added.

Jayant Kumar Mohapatra, the former vice-chancellor of Berhampur University, said the UGC should conduct wider consultation before taking such decisions. “Most of the important aspects of NEP are yet to be implemented by the states. When this is the situation in states, I do not understand why UGC is coming up with new drafts in a hurry,” he added.

He further said Ph.D. cannot be done after a four-year UG program. “I think PG is needed for enrolling in a Ph.D. program. There should not be any compromise,” he added.

Asoka Kumar Das, the vice-chairman of the Odisha State Higher Education Council (OSHEC), said the council will go through the draft and if necessary, it will give suggestions. “But the state will take its own decision on this depending on students’ interest,” he added.

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