The University Grants Commission has new guidelines that make it mandatory for educational institutes across the country to offer only three year degree programs for non-technical courses. This may create problems for certain universities and at least one IIT. As of now the worst hit institutes include the Shiv Nadar University and Symbiosis. Both these universities have been offering four-year undergraduate programs for awhile now.
“Shiv Nadar has around 40 students in various humanities streams who were admitted in four year undergraduate programme. University has been asked to either make the course for three years or make the fourth year optional only for those who want to undertake research,” UGC stated.
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According to reports, Shiv Nadar has already been given these options but the university is yet to come up with a response. Similarly, Symbiosis started a four-year undergraduate liberal arts course in 2010 and the first batch of students who opted for the program are now in their final year.
“We have UGC’s permission for four year course. It is not a conventional programme but we decided for four year course as per the international trend,” says Vidya Yeravdekar, Principal Director, Symbiosis.
“We sent everything including the approval by the UGC. But we did not hear anything from them. On August 9 we were asked by UGC to discontinue the four year course. The National Educational Policy does not forbid four year course but says three year course is necessary,” Yeravedkar added.
The AIIMS and IITs also come under the ambit of these new guidelines.
“Letter was also sent to AIIMS and Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research but they did not bother to react since they run approved courses. Even IITs have approved course, except IIT Kanpur that has one course called B.S. It has to be turned into B.Sc. IITs might have been set up under an act of parliament, it is the UGC that under Section 22 is empowered to decide on what degree is approved or not,” said a source in UGC, as reported by the Times of India.