With 4-year UG research degree, students can directly enter PhD: UGC draft

With 4-year UG research degree, students can directly enter PhD: UGC draft
UGC seeks stakeholder feedback for proposed four-year degree framework in line with NEP 2020

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has proposed to allow students who have completed a four-year undergraduate (UG) programme, including a research component with a cumulative grade point average of 7.5, to directly enrol in PhD programmes without having to first complete a master’s degree.

The new measure is a part of the Draft University Grants Commission (Minimum Standards and Procedures for Award of Ph.D. Degree) Regulations, 2022 released on Thursday, with the UGC seeking comments and feedback from the stakeholders by March 31.

The Commission also released the draft curricular framework and credit system for the four- year programme, as proposed by the National Education Policy, 2020. Several prominent Central universities, including the University of Delhi, plan to implement the four-year programmes from the coming academic year 2022-23.

Multiple entry and exit points

As envisioned by the NEP 2020, the four-year degree will have multiple entry and exit points. Those who complete one year will receive a certificate (requiring 40-44 credits plus a 10 credit skills enhancement course), two years will earn a diploma (88 credits plus the exit course) and three years will earn a bachelor’s degree (120-132 credit hours). The four-year degree, including either an honours programme focussed on a specific subject, a rigorous research project, or a multidisciplinary programme, will require 160-176 credits. Master’s degrees could be earned in one or two-year programmes, depending on whether the student has completed a three or four-year bachelor’s degree. Each credit is likely to involve 45 hours of work, mostly split between teaching in the classroom and practical work, although provisions have been made for internships, seminars, studio sessions, community service and other types of learning methods.

The curriculum for the first three semesters of the UG courses will include common courses such as language (both English and regional language), understanding India, environmental science, digital and technological solutions, mathematical and computational thinking and analysis, health & wellness, yoga, sports and fitness, and introductory courses in humanities, natural and social sciences. After the third semester, students will declare a major and two minors to specialise in.

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