If a proposal by a UGC committee is implemented, the 4-year undergraduate courses will make a comeback. In its report on "Promoting and Improving the Quality of Research in Indian Universities/ Colleges", a Committee constituted by the UGC has proposed introduction of 4 year undergraduate courses. The 4-year undergraduate program introduced by the Delhi University under the regime of previous Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh, 5 years before, was scrapped by former Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani.
The four-member UGC Committee led by Professor P Balaram, former Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has submitted two reports, one of which is “Improving the Quality of Research by Faculty and Creation of New Knowledge and Strategies for Improving Research Culture in Colleges/ Universities.”
The other report submitted by the Committee proposes reforms on Minimum Standards and Procedures for award of M.Phil./ Ph.D degrees.
UGC has invited feedback/ suggestions on the Committee's report till August 16.
The National Education Policy (NEP) panel led by former ISRO Chief K Kasturirangan has also recommended re-introduction of the four-year course as part of the undergraduate reforms.
"Both three-year and four-year courses will be allowed to co-exist, but with multiple exit and entry options. The four-year programme will provide for greater rigour and allow students to conduct research optionally," the NEP draft said.
"...with a strong research component to provide the pipeline for good quality students for the doctoral program," the Committee said in the submission that is focused on improving the research areas in higher educational institutions.
For subjects that "are limited in scope" undergraduate courses may be stopped "as they provide training only in specialized subjects" the report said citing subjects like Biotechnology and Bioinformatics.
All full time undergraduate programs must be broad-based and professional/ vocational courses that facilitate jobs should be run separately as Diploma courses, it added.
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