After 5 years, UGC has a rethink on scrapped four-year degree course

5 years after scrapping controversial FYUP, UGC panel recommends 4-yr UG courses
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New Delhi: Five years after the controversial Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) was scrapped, a UGC committee has recommended the introduction of the four-year degree for promoting and improving quality of research in colleges and universities.

The four-member committee which recently submitted its report to the University Grants Commission (UGC) is not the only one pitching for transition to a four-year programme from the current three year undergraduate courses, but the HRD Ministry appointed panel working on the new National Education Policy (NEP) had also recommended the programme among undergraduate courses reforms.

"Increase the number of universities offering the four-year undergraduate programme, with a strong research component to provide the pipeline for good quality students for the doctoral programme," the committee headed by professor P Balaram, former director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, said in its report.

"Also, the existing two-year MA and MSc programs should have a research project with a requirement of typically 6-10 credits. It may be important to stop undergraduate programmes that are limited in scope (for example in specialised subjects like Biotechnology or Bioinformatics ), as they provide training only in specialised subjects.

"All full-time under-graduate programmes must be broad-based. Professional and vocational courses that facilitate jobs should be run separately as Diploma courses," the report added.

The Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) introduced by the Delhi University under the regime of previous Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh was scrapped by former Human Resource Development minister Smriti Irani.

The NEP panel led by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan, which submitted its report to the new HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank', has 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.

"Students will graduate with a four-year Liberal Arts Science Education degree with Honours, or may graduate with a B Sc, BA, B Com or B Voc after completing three years with a suitable completion of credits within their subject," it said. 

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