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2-course UGC meal for students

New Delhi, Jan. 24: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has proposed simultaneous registration in more than one university for students to widen the scope of employment opportunities.

Dual registration is not allowed in either the US or the UK.

Delivering the Lal Bahadur Shastri Public Lecture today, UGC chairperson Arun Nigavekar said: “At present, if a student is registered in a particular university, he or she stays married to that particular university for the entire duration of the course. We want to change this system so that a student can simultaneously register in more than one university for more than one course.” For this, the universities will have to be flexible, diversify and restructure their courses.

Nigavekar said dual registration would also mean convergence of conventional and distance education. “The basic idea is to allow a student to do courses apart from the basic degree course,” he said.

For instance, a student doing a core graduation course in accountancy in one university can do a certificate course in management of foreign exchange from another. Or a student can combine a basic degree in history with an additional certificate course in journalism or tourism.

The changes have been suggested in view of the expansion taking place in the service sector the world over. A huge chunk of the total gross domestic product in developed countries comes from the service sector, Nigavekar said.

“In India, all traditional industries are getting converted into service industries. It is becoming the dominant sector in the economy. The idea behind these changes is to make higher education more relevant to the students.”

At present, 8.8 million students opt for higher education in India. By the end of the 10th plan in 2006-2007, this number is expected to rise to 13 million.

Eighty-three per cent of the 8.8 million study the arts, humanities, law and commerce. “In this scenario, we have to look for knowledge workers. Our higher education system will have to become more flexible in order to face the challenges of a changed economic world,” the UGC chief said.

His proposals, however, have not found much favour with the teaching community.

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