Advertisement

Home / Opinion / Prized double: Editorial on the wisdom of allowing dual degrees

Prized double: Editorial on the wisdom of allowing dual degrees

Piling one change upon another is likely to affect studies negatively and increase stress among students
The University Grants Commission
The University Grants Commission
File Picture

The Editorial Board   |   Published 19.04.22, 01:26 AM

Finding practical uses for apparently impractical subjects of higher study seems to be a priority. That is implicit in the vision inscribed in the National Education Policy. The University Grants Commission will now allow students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels to study for two degrees in two different subjects simultaneously. This is a sign of progress no doubt, since advanced Western countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada permit this. India, however, does not yet have their neat systems; its higher education is still the site of experimentation. The new all-India admission test for Central universities is a case in point. As in that case, so in the matter of dual degrees, management, administration and procedural principles will need major adjustments. Piling one change upon another is likely to affect studies negatively and increase stress among students. But a candidate with a dual degree would have a better chance at getting a job — or such is the carrot. Meanwhile, private colleges could earn a pretty penny by offering dual degree courses with a quiet let-up in attendance rules. Evidently, the UGC thinks it is possible for students to achieve 75 per cent of attendance in both courses together. Or is it just forgiving of cover-ups?

Funny how even the changes in the education system under the Narendra Modi government are divisive. With growing numbers of aspirants and limited seats, a dual degree for one candidate will mean a seat lost to another who was interested in one subject. A dual-degree candidate may push past the single-degree one in the job market, even if the student with one degree has a deeper knowledge of the subject. Excellence in learning is no longer the UGC’s priority. It is also not concerned about students from underprivileged backgrounds. A double degree with double the expense in fees and books is likely to elude them. Thus the divisions increase with every change, while serious learning is quietly but steadily set aside.



Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
 
 
 
Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.