Pursuing Two Full-Time Academic Programmes Simultaneously

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The University Grants Commission has recently allowed the students to pursue the two full-time academic programmes simultaneously. These guidelines would apply to all the programmes available across the country. The students could either choose a combination of a diploma programme and an undergraduate (UG) degree, two masters programmes, or two bachelor՚s programmes. A set of guidelines have been put together by the commission regarding the same.

The UGC՚s earlier regulations did not allow students to pursue two full-time programmes and they could only pursue one full-time degree along with online/short-term/diploma courses. MPhil and PhD programmes would not fall under the same scheme.

UGC Guidelines on Examinations


  • In case a student is eligible to pursue a postgraduate degree and wants to enroll in a bachelor՚s degree in a different domain, he/she would be able to do that (UG and PG degree) simultaneously one in physical mode and another in open and distance learning mode.
  • For both the programmes, the class timings must not clash.
  • It was decided in the last commission meeting held on 31st March 2022, to issue guidelines that would enable students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously since the NEP 2020 emphasizes the need to facilitate multiple pathways for learning involving both formal and non-formal education forms.
  • A combination of the physical model, online form should be used for providing more freedom to the students in acquiring multiple skills.
  • Students would be able to pursue dual degree programmes across domains such as:
    • Sciences
    • Social sciences
    • Arts
    • Humanities
    • A wide variety of disciplines
  • For the universities, adoption of such guidelines is optional and could be implemented only after the universitys՚ statutory bodies՚ approval.
  • For each of the programmes, the eligibility criteria would remain unchanged and the admission would be conducted based on the existing UGC, university norms.

Other Views

  • According to some educationist the same objectives could have been achieved without issuing a single set of guidelines.
  • Multiple skill set should be a subset of a single degree and the same cannot be traversed between two degrees.
  • The decision of pursuing two-degree courses simultaneously needs a review.

Way Ahead

  • The universities would have to devise the attendance criteria for the courses since all the academic programmes have minimum attendance requirements for students to be allowed for the exams.
  • There have been many developments in the fields of open and distance learning as well as online education with the rapid increase in demand for high-quality higher education along with the limitation of only enrolling about 3 % of the students on physical campuses.
  • Many universities in India are offering both offline and online programmes.
  • As soon as the UGC would release modified regulations for online education, many top-quality Indian institutes would start offering online degrees.

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