UGC drafts guidelines for Four-year Undergraduate Programs

New Delhi: Flexibility to move from one disciplinary area to another within course duration and multiple entry-exit options with a certificate, diploma, or degree depending on the number of credits secured are among the features of the Four-Year Undergraduate Programs, according to draft guidelines prepared by University Grants Commission.

The draft titled “Curricular Framework and Credit System for Four-year Undergraduate Programs” proposes standard introductory courses in natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences for the first three semesters, regardless of the student’s specialization. It also includes standard courses on regional languages, English, Yoga, Artificial Intelligence, and data analytics.

According to the draft, a transferable credit-based system has been proposed for the FYUP with 160 credits, with one credit for 15 hours of classroom teaching. Students will have to choose a subject they want to study in-depth in the third year. Students can choose from a wide range of topics ranging from political science to astronomy. In the last two semesters, the student enrolled in FYUP will also undertake research based on their primary subject.

“Flexibility to move from one disciplinary area of study to another within the duration of study by securing required credits, an opportunity for learners to choose the subject of interest, facilitating multiple entries and exit options with certificate, diploma or degree depending upon the number of credits secured, flexibility for learners to move from one institution to another to enable them to have a multi or interdisciplinary learning.” “…Facilitating switching to alternative modes of learning (face-to-face, ODL, and Online learning, and hybrid modes of learning) will be among the features of the credit system. Regulations for Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) and multiple entry and exit are already in place to facilitate the implementation of the credit system. The focus of the credit system will be on introducing flexibility in choosing courses and programs of study,” the guidelines stated.

The UGC has recommended that a semester consists of 90 working days, and an academic year is divided into two semesters.

“Each working week will have 40 hours of instructional time. A summer term is for eight weeks, and summer term courses may be offered on a fast track mode to enable students to complete arrears courses, do a 0-99 or 100-199 level courses,” according to the draft.

“The HEI can decide on the kind of courses offered in the summer term. The draft read that an internship or apprenticeship can be carried out during the summer term, especially for the student who exits after two or four semesters of study,” the draft read.

The higher education regulator has proposed that learning activities required to promote value-based education, Indian knowledge systems, global citizenship education, inclusive education, gender equity, and the achievement of generic learning outcomes will be integrated into relevant curricular components and courses.

“Inclusion in the curricula of credit-based courses and projects in community engagement and service, environmental education and value-based education, has been proposed,” it said.

“Global Citizenship Education and education for sustainable development form an integral part of the curriculum to empower learners to become aware of and understand global and sustainable development issues and become active promoters of more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure, and sustainable societies,” it said.

Reorienting teaching programs to ensure the development of capabilities across various disciplines, including sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, languages, and vocational subjects, has been proposed.

“Preparing professionals in cutting-edge areas that are fast gaining prominence, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), 3-D machining, big data analysis, and machine learning, in addition to genomic studies, biotechnology, nanotechnology, neuroscience, with important applications to health, environment, and sustainable living that will be woven into undergraduate education for enhancing the employability of the youth,” it said.

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