The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently approved a proposal that will now allow the students to pursue two degrees simultaneously to help them improve their career prospects. A panel was set up last year to examine this idea which was chaired by UGC’s Chairman Bhushan Patwardhan.
UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain said, “The proposal was approved by the recent commission meeting for 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.” Because the regular degree programs mandate minimum attendance criteria, the second degree has to be through distance or online mode. He also mentioned that “an official notification will be issued soon in this regard.”
In 2012, a committee was formed to facilitate consultations on this matter, headed by the then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad, Furqan Qamar but the idea was turned down. According to the UGC officials, “the commission had then sought comments of the statutory councils on the committee’s report and the responses received did not endorse the idea of allowing students to pursue multiple degree programs simultaneously. Hence, the plan did not take off.”
But now a student can pursue two degrees across various streams from the same institution or different institutions, provided the institution offers multiple modes of learning.