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New Delhi: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has given its nod to a proposal that will now allow students to pursue two educational degrees at the same time, ThePrint has learnt.

The commission in its latest meeting approved simultaneous dual degrees for students in India, allowing students to complete courses in the same or different streams at the same time. One of the two degrees, however, has to be through regular mode and the other has to be through online distance learning (ODL).

Confirming the development, UGC secretary Rajnish Jain told ThePrint, “The dual degree programme in India, where students are allowed to obtain two degrees simultaneously has been approved by the commission in its latest meeting. A notification regarding the same will be issued soon.”

Indian higher education institutions currently offer integrated degrees like a B.Tech with MS, which combines undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and reduces the time duration for the course. A B.Tech + MS integrated degree for example is a five-year course, which would have taken six years if the programmes were pursued separately.

The dual-degree that the UGC has now approved will now allow, for example, an engineering student to simultaneously enroll in an economics or a psychology course or a literature student to pursue a political science course.

The finer details about eligibility are being worked out by the commission and will be released soon.


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‘Decision taken after public opinion’

Explaining the decision further, UGC vice-chairman Bhushan Patwardhan told ThePrint that the commission had taken public opinion before giving a go ahead to the programme.

“We had asked for feedback from the public about the dual-degree programme and in their replies, people told us that they believe having a dual-degree programme was a forward-looking and a student-friendly idea. It would give more options to students in terms of career choices,” Patwardhan said.

He highlighted the only condition to pursuing dual degrees — one course has to be done through regular mode and the other one through distance mode.

“As per UGC regulations, minimum percentage of attendance is required for a student to attain a degree, which is why it is necessary that a student pursues one degree through regular mode and another one through distance learning,” he added.

Even as the commission claims that it has received positive feedback, some experts have apprehensions about the idea.

A former UGC chairperson told ThePrint that students may find it difficult to complete both courses at the same time.

“The idea of a dual degree is good because it will provide more employment opportunities to students but how many students will have the energy to take up two degree courses at the same time is a question,” the chairperson said.

“Even if one degree is through regular mode and another one is online, students are completing certain credits to get the degree. To juggle between two is going to be a task.”


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29 Comments Share Your Views

29 COMMENTS

  1. This is a great initiative.
    I would like to know if a person doing MDS ( masters of dental surgery) can enroll in other degrees like MPH or MBA in hospital management ?

  2. I guess it is a wonderful idea especially for students who are forced into courses they do not like and are managing their way of struggle through it . I feel the UGC and Universities have a huge task in hand if this method is implemented, to a have a systematic way of getting things done and not pressurising the students who take up such courses .

  3. Can a student who is currently pursuing engineering also get a degree in economics online through this ?

  4. This would provoke the students to become “degree-hungry” instead of allowing them to gain complete knowledge about one particular subject. Our engineering courses and multiple subjects semester structure is flawed as the courses offer degrees only when you qualify in a lot of subjects. The students doesn’t stand a chance to gain sufficient knowledge or employable knowledge. “Jack of all trades , master of none” is the principle that haunts indian education system.

  5. Actually, it is nice to, know but there are few difficulties or short comings. Unless student is super intelligent, studious and industries it is difficult to pursue. 2nd we have seen our time while we were Engineering students even after pursuing dedicated study we were short of time as scheduled was so tight due to lab work / workshop work. Now new system is definitely good if student wants to pursue further career to have wider choice but it is to be looked into assimilation of knowledge. No doubt one can plan Civil service in the start of graduation by pursuing dual degree. More over with online education system lot of time is available to do alternative education also.

  6. The dual degree programs create a lots of opportunities for students to enrich the learning with different modes will make u techno savvy and from other way this make smartly complete my degree in half of the time. Thanks to UGC to taken this step to cherish the higher education system of INDIA.

  7. In ancient Universities about 64 skills were taught.students were free to learn as per their choices.
    So present decision is pro students and historical.
    Thank you “

  8. Thanks to God. After 70 yrs of independence at least a slowest thought coming up board level.
    Why again restrictions such as one regular other online or so?
    Pl take quick decision. When I completed my graduation in 1982, I asked my commerce HOD, if one can continue multiple graduation simultaneously, he said you are in India, just have patience, takes ages to decide on a smallest decision.
    Pl open up any number of courses any citizen of any age can study online or regular from any nation.
    Just few lines of law, instead of thousands pages of law but executable only 2 pages.
    Make life simpler n easy.
    Cheers.

  9. My thought it an idea rised from swayam,,,it an needed excellent system that should be implement for the forthcoming.that it might also combines diploma course with art&science degree,master degree integrated with law.Not only that the distance learning may also implement in college(other than their regular college)

  10. India has more middle class and below middle class,this decision is taken by keeping the ppl from upper middle class pls this hurts the ppl who do not get chance to do so

  11. Instead of dual degree choice based credit is better
    It will ruin the social science courses with sub standard stuff. Instead of making education more knowledge and skill oriented the these decisions are killing the education system
    Some of these policies like research admission s,more scholarship s for research on caste basis has ruined the higher education instead of improving the system . The scholarship are misused with pressure from guides. The guides are benefitted with amount . It is a fact a truth in higher education. There are many useless research scholars indulge in unethical practices

  12. It is a welcome decisions. Students who really are into it will definitely reap rich and sustainable dividends.

  13. Absurd idea. Science students can learn economics but not possible for economics students to study engineering and technology.
    Because engineering and technology subjects need in depth knowledge and practical training in laboratories and on the job training in engineering projects.

    • Why what’s the big deal with engineering/science ?
      And what makes you think engineering students can learn economics ?

      It shows you probably don’t know either engineering nor economics.

  14. Absurd idea. Science students can learn economics but not possible for economics students to study engineering and technology.
    Because engineering and technology subjects need in depth knowledge and practical training in laboratories and on the job training in engineering projects.

  15. This is one of the best idea of UGC as the students now need not have to wait for their degree for a long time

  16. This has been in my university BITS Pilani since a long time and both the degrees are being completed through regular mode.

  17. This is an excellent view. I believe the UGC’s role should be to enable maximisation of learning during the formal higher learning timeline of children. Also it is very essential to ensure that the students learn at least a set of readily employable skills than just rote learning.

    • This will keep students in confusion and a race will start to grab more and more degrees rather than more skill and knowledge. Our nation needs focused and skilled learning not more degrees. Joining graduation with post graduation is a good idea but dual degrees is not. Till 12th students are already in confusion what to choose and not to choose.Please don’t do this in higher studies.

      Moreover this will increase the pressure on weak students mind’s .The good student will be good everywhere but bad will have no option to switch.The balance of education system will destroy and this may cause more insecurity in the students.

      Rather than dual degree combine graduation and post-graduation and keep 1 year industrial training in the same field. Improve standards of industrial trainings. This will enhance student’s confidence and he will have direction.

    • Bad idea. Don’t make students life difficult. We need more focused learning not garbage of degrees.join graduation with post graduation and 1year compulsory industry training. Improve industry training standards.

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