Two recommendations that came in recently are likely to bring about dramatic changes in India’s undergraduate education. The latest one by a University Grants Commission (UGC) Committee headed by Prof. P. Balaram, the former Chairman of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), proposes reintroduction of Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP). Earlier, the Draft National Education Policy (NEP) had also recommended the same with a slight difference.
These recommendations come five years after the same proposal was scrapped by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) after it ran into controversies regarding the manner in which it was introduced, limitation of electives, lack of infrastructure and faculty to teach, among others.
The argument in favour of FYUP is that it will improve the quality of research in colleges and universities and help Indian degrees get more international acceptance. “If properly implemented, the FYUP shall allow each student a chance to discover his true calling in life,” says Prof. Dinesh Singh, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Delhi.
“In addition, it shall then give the students a chance to develop their talent in a unique combination of knowledge and skills using transdisciplinarity and real world connections. In other words, deep and also practical knowledge,” he adds.
On the other hand, the NEP has recommended 3-year and 4-year courses to co-exist, with multiple exits and entr