Draft Guidelines for Multidisciplinary Higher Education

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The Draft guidelines outlining its plan to encourage growth of multidisciplinary higher education instructions has been formed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) for offering a diverse range of subjects. With the approval of the guidelines, a dual-degree from IIT Delhi and JNU would become a distinct possibility as per UGC chairman.

The ‘Draft Guidelines for Transforming Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) into Multidisciplinary Institutions’ is in line with the National Education Policy, 2020 that has envisaged at least one large multidisciplinary higher education institute in or near every district by 2030.

Plans for Higher Educational Institutes

About

  • With the approval of the draft, higher education institutions would have various ways to adopt a multidisciplinary nature.
  • Colleges that are affiliated to universities could elevate their status to that of degree-awarding autonomous colleges by offering multidisciplinary education.
  • Colleges or universities would have the option of collaborating to offer dual degrees.
  • Once admitted according to the draft guidelines, students would be able to complete their first degree at the host institution and the second degree at the partnering institution without going through the admission process again.
  • JNU and IIT Delhi have the separate sets of intrinsic strengths.
  • A student pursuing BTech in IIT wants to study Master՚s in JNU can do so without going through a separate admission process.
  • The eligibility criteria could be based on CGPA.
  • To overcome institutional weaknesses obstructing the entry into the field of multidisciplinary education, the guidelines have offered colleges the option of forming the “clusters.”

UGC՚s Ambitious Plan

  • Turning all affiliated colleges into degree-awarding multidisciplinary autonomous institutions by 2035.
  • Offering dual degrees.
  • Allowing groups of colleges to join hands and transform into universities.
  • The regulator through the proposed restructuring hopes to raise the standards of higher education by breaking down silos.

Way Forward

  • Due to their single-stream nature, India՚s higher education institutions are losing out in world rankings.
  • The draft further points out to the “debilitating or limiting effect on the evolution of research and innovation.”
  • The colleges affiliated to the universities designing the syllabi, conduct examinations and award degrees.
  • The colleges having poor enrollment with fewer resources could offer multidisciplinary programmes and could have access to better facilities for the benefit of all.
  • The potential colleges and universities that could transform into robust multidisciplinary institutions would be identified by the UGC over the next few years.
  • The institutions in turn would set up the template for the others across the country to follow.

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