The University of Delhi has proposed a four-year undergraduate programme, starting from 2013. The first year will comprise of general studies like mathematics, computers, environmental studies, Indian culture, etc, and from the second year, specialized studies can be begun. Another feature of this programme is that the students can leave the course after the second year and get a diploma. Leaving after the third year will give the student a general degree, and only after the completion of the fourth year would the student be given the honours degree.
The programme is on the lines of the American system that offers a large variety of subjects for students to choose from. The extra year will help increase the employability of the students by engaging them in other courses.
A student, who might leave the course after the second or third year, has the option to return within ten years of leaving and complete the course. Post-graduation can be completed within a year, thus keeping the number of years for study, the same.
The course is also a great help to students who plan to go abroad for further studies since most universities want students to have completed a four year undergraduate degree and many are rejected because India follows a 10+2+3 pattern.
“I am currently in a university outside of India where the 4 year undergraduate programs are in place. I see how much exposure these students here get in inter disciplinary courses and how this exposure has led to their holistic development.” says Soumya Sivakumar.
The wide range of subjects offered in the course can be the demand of the students who want to study subjects other than their major disciplines.
“The students continue to surprise us. Sanskrit students want to study French and German simultaneously, mathematics students want to study history. In fact, this shows their maturity. There is a great demand for Sanskrit teachers and academics in Germany. We need to explore many more such opportunities and innovation and empower our students,” said Dinesh Singh, Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi.
The students can use credits gained through sports or other extra-curricular activities to knock off one or two subjects and still complete the course.
The programme has received appreciation from many, but criticism from some as well. There are questions about its legality, since “India’s national policy for education allows a university to follow only the 10+2+3 model. There is no uniformity with other central universities. Also, the task force is an illegal body that has no statutory standing,” said Sheo Dutt, an Academic Council member.