On 13th April 2022, in a monumental decision, the University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman, Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, announced that Indian students would be able to take two completely different full-time classes simultaneously. The classes can be taken physically, online, or in a combination of the two in the same or different universities.
The new guidelines will apply to most Indian academic programs. Students will be able to opt for a combination of two undergraduate degrees (UG), two postgraduate degrees (PG), or a combination of the two. Students eligible for a master's program can also apply for a bachelor's program from a different domain.
Students interested in the dual degree programs need to go through the commission’s drafted guidelines.
UGC Important Guidelines to Pursue Dual Degrees
- India's higher education institutions can collaborate with foreign counterparts for credit recognition and transfer, twinning arrangements.
- Any student can take two full-time academic programs in physical mode as long as the class timings of the two programs do not overlap, unlike earlier, which allowed one in full-time physical mode and the other in Open and Distance Learning (ODL)/Online mode.
- Eligibility criteria for each program will remain unchanged, and admissions will be based on existing UGC academic standards.
- If a PG student wants to enroll in a UG degree in a different domain, they will be able to pursue both degrees simultaneously.
- The UGC regulations, and the respective statutory/professional councils, wherever applicable, shall govern the diploma or degree programs.
- Only higher education institutions recognized by UGC/Statutory Council/Govt. of India will follow degree programs in ODL/online mode.
- These guidelines will come into force by a UGC notification later.
- No retrospective benefit can be claimed by students who have already completed two university programs at the same time before these guidelines.
Following the new guidelines, students will be able to pursue two programs in various disciplines, including the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. The UGC will also publish amended regulations for online education, after which leading Indian institutes will begin offering online diplomas.