UGC Committee To Grant ‘Degree’ Status To Several New Courses: Report

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Indian institutes of higher education may soon be provided degree-level courses in unconventional courses like public policy, wellness, Indian knowledge systems, etc. University Grants Commission (UGC) will soon set up a committee that will identify academic programs that can be converted to ‘degree Status courses, according to a report by the Economic Times (ET).

Currently, India has 130 degree courses notified by the UGC in the UGC Act, 1956. With the latest changes, Indian universities may soon provide courses similar to foreign universities including BA in engineering disciplines and others.

It will also allow foreign universities to set up their campuses in India and provide the same courses they provide in their home countries.

The UGC has a certain nomenclature for degrees. However, the time has come for us to be more flexible. We need diversity in our programmes. Today, say if a university wants to offer a master’s in public policy, it is not able to do so under the current provisions. Our main idea is that we at UGC should be able to allow it to happen. There are also many internationally recognised degrees and it makes little sense to not recognise them in India. There has to be some mechanism of doing so,

UGC Chairman M Jagadeesh Kumar Told ET.

IIMs in India have run into trouble several times in the past with the specification of their MBA courses not matching UGC’s definition of degree courses. IIMs provide diplomas instead of degrees.

The panel will also hold timely reviews on the existing courses and suggest new ones, the report added. Several Indian courses on traditional knowledge systems and mental health may also be soon granted a degree status.

We will set up a committee which will consider both our existing nomenclature and global ones and introduce some kind of flexibility. While existing nomenclature is likely to stay, we may finetune it and set up a system to evaluate new degree course proposals,” Kumar added.

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