FAQ: Will We Have 4-Yr UG Programmes Under NEP? What About MPhil?

Here’s all we knew about what the National Education Policy document says about undergraduate degrees.

Updated30 Jul 2020, 12:04 PM IST
Education
2 min read

The new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, 29 July, will introduce four-year undergraduate degrees with multiple entry and exit options, scrap the M Phil degree, among other new policies.

Here’s all we know about what the NEP document says about undergraduate degrees.

What is the main takeaway from NEP 2020 regarding undergraduate degree?

The undergraduate degree will either be for a duration of 3 or 4 years but with multiple entry and exit options within this period, with appropriate certificate.

What does ‘multiple entry and exit’ mean?

If a student chooses to exit from the degree at any point during the course of the period, they have the option to return and start where they left.

They are not required to start from their first year of undergraduate course again.

For example: A student chooses to discontinue his undergraduate degree after second year and chooses to take a year-long break. He can return after a year and directly pursue his third year of undergraduate degree.

What appropriate certificates will the students receive?

  • A student can obtain a certificate after completing one year of course
  • Advanced diploma in a discipline or field (including vocational and professional areas) after completing two years of study
  • Get a Bachelors degree after a three-year programme

Why does the NEP say it prefers the 4-year bachelor’s programme?

The NEP says that a 4-year Bachelor's programme with multi-disciplinary education, however, shall be the preferred as it "allows the opportunity" to experience the full range of holistic and multi-disciplinary education.

The four-year course, the NEP says, will give the student time to focus on both the major and minor subject matters chosen.

How does the NEP propose to keep track of the credits earned by the student in case they choose to discontinue midway?

For this purpose, there shall be an Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) which could digitally store the academic credits earned from various recognised Higher Educational Institutions (HEI). Degrees can be awarded taking into account the credits earned.

What other flexibility does NEP offer to other HEIs?

  • HEIs will have the flexibility to offer different designs of Masters programmes
  • There may be a two-year programme with the second year devoted entirely to research for those
  • who have completed the three-year Bachelors programme
  • For students completing a four-year UG programme with research there could be a one-year Masters programme and
  • There may be an integrated five-year Bachelor’s/Masters programme

Under what criteria will a person be allowed to pursue PhD?

Undertaking a PhD shall require either a Master’s degree or a 4-year UG degree with adequate research. The M Phil programme shall be discontinued.

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Published: 30 Jul 2020, 12:00 PM IST
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