Once in a lifetime, you must have thought about doing various degree courses at the same time. The question is that if any student pursues two Degree Courses at the same time (simultaneously) and Joint Degree Programme, is it Valid or Not? Experts have different views on this decision. Some say by applying it, students’ knowledge base will be expanded or improved, while others feel that academic standards will get lowered.
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Is it Valid to pursue two degree Courses at the same time (simultaneously)?
In January 2016, UGC issued an order that Students are not allowed to pursue two regular degrees together. In April 2022, UGC had finally given thumbs up to the proposal to allow students to take up two-degree programmes which was recommended in 2012 by an expert committee that students enrolled in a regular degree course should be allowed to pursue an additional degree simultaneously under open or distance education mode. Previously, the candidates were not authorised to pursue two regular degree courses simultaneously; they were only allowed to enrol for the second degree after completing the first one.
The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), a distance-learning national university, has also issued a letter regarding the framework of the procedure of simultaneously pursuing two Undergraduate/ Post Graduate programs in IGNOU. The scheme will be effective from July 2022, in which eligible students can simultaneously enrol in two full-time UG/PG courses.
As announced in the new National Education Policy (NEP) and in order to allow students to acquire multiple skills, the UGC has come up with new guidelines to allow a candidate to pursue two degree programmes simultaneously. The degrees can either be pursued from the same or different universities,
The idea is to provide as much flexibility as possible to the students. These guidelines are part of the NEP and are aimed to customise and personalise education.
Jagadesh Kumar, UGC Chairman
UGC Guidelines for Pursue Two Degrees simultaneously:
- The University Grants Commission (UGC) has taken the decision that students are allowed to pursue two full-time or same-level degree programmes in physical mode simultaneously, either at the same university or from different universities with Offline, Online Mode flexibility.
- This decision is part of the implementation of the National Education Policy 2020, in which the intention is to provide quality education and much flexibility as possible so that students can receive multidisciplinary education.
- This implementation will start from the academic session 2022-23 so that students can pursue two academic programmes simultaneously at the higher education level.
- However, the two programmes opted for by students at the same time have to be of the same level. This will effectively let students simultaneously opt for two undergraduate, diploma and postgraduate programmes.
- It will not be mandatory for any university or council to adopt these guidelines.
- In this, Students are allowed to pursue multidisciplinary programmes. E.g. B. Sc. in Maths with BA in History or B. Com Honours with a diploma in Data Science, etc., by following the criteria.
- M.Phil and PhD courses have been exempted from this proposal.
Eligibility Criteria & Attendance Requirements:
- The eligibility criteria for each of the programmes will remain unchanged, and admissions will be conducted based on the existing UGC and university norms.
- The attendance requirement for the programmes will be decided by respective colleges and institutions.
- Also, students will not be allowed to use credits earned in one programme to fulfil the requirement of another programme.
- For students with Physical mode class timing of one course do not overlap with the class timing of other courses. The student can pursue B.A classes in the morning and B.Com classes in the evening.
Courses Combination Validation:
|Sr. No.||Courses Combination||Status|
|1.||Two Regular UG Degrees from the same or different universities||Valid|
|2.||Two Regular PG Degrees from the same or different universities||Valid|
|3.||One Regular + One Open and Distance Learning (ODL) or Online mode||Valid|
|4.||Two Open and Distance Learning (ODL) or Online mode||Valid|
|5.||One Open and Distance Learning (ODL)+ One Online mode||Valid|
|3.||Two Regular Diplomas||Valid|
|4.||Regular Degree + PhD/M. Phil||Not Valid|
Mode of Degrees Validation:
|Sr. No.||Mode of Degrees||Status|
|2.||Physical + Online||Valid|
This change was required “in view of the changing scenario and flexible guidelines”. To cope with the high completion, students need more choices in courses. The Expert panel also recommended that UGC should encourage joint degree programmes.
UGC Notification for Two Degree At the Same Time Policy
UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar, UGC Chairman, said in one of his official statements that this new rule would allow students to expand their skill set. They can learn new things beyond their comfort zones & this will also teach them to push their limits. All Indian Universities have been asked to change their rules to promote joint degree programmes.
IGNOU Guidelines for Pursue Two Degrees simultaneously:
The students can go through these guidelines to understand the intricacy of such a scheme.
Candidates must have to enrol for Open and Distance Learning (ODL)/ Online Mode course Programs in two different academic cycles in the same academic year. For example, they can apply for one ODL/Online Mode program in the January cycle and for others, they need to opt for the June cycle.
Courses Combination Validation:
|Sr. No.||Courses Combination||Status|
|1.||One course in Regular/ Open and Distance Learning (ODL) / Online mode from an institute other than IGNOU + One course in ODL/ Online mode under IGNOU||Valid|
|2.||Two Open and Distance Learning (ODL) or Online mode under IGNOU||Valid|
|4.||One Diploma and One Certificate||Valid|
|5.||Two Postgraduate Diplomas||Valid|
IGNOU Notification for Two Degree At the Same Time Policy
Opinion- Is it a good decision?
- In the guideline of UGC, candidates will have the flexibility to pursue two-degree courses simultaneously through various combinations of modes to help students educate themselves in the way they want, subject to what they select.
- However, certain concerns remain…
- Seeking two degree/diploma programs relies on the ability of the student; how many will enrol?
- How can the students manage? (Fee as well as classes – especially if both are in physical form)
- Quality & Learning outcomes can be compromised?
- Will these provisions be unbiased? (Rural v Urban Students)
What RTI says about it?
You can get a better Idea about current rules after seeing below given RTI reply from UGC.
Date of Action: 31/07/2015
Disclaimer: The above information is specific to Indian universities only. You must contact your university authority for the exact rule to pursue courses from the same university or two different universities simultaneously.