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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

University Body Chairman To NDTV

New Delhi:

In an exclusive interview with NDTV, UGC Chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar has talked about the biannual admission process according to which admissions can either be offered in January-February or July-August from the new academic year.  Mr Kumar explained that currently, higher education institutions admit students in one academic session, which starts in July-August and ends in May-June. Students who miss the admission process have to wait one full year to get admission in colleges. The University Grants Commission wanted to introduce a system where students do not have to wait for an entire year for securing admission in colleges. 

With the option of the biannual admissions, the institutions can now admit students twice a year from the 2024-25 academic session. The decision is aimed at providing more flexibility to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Mr Kumar said,  “The university body had tested the biannual admission process in Online and Open & Distance Learning modes. After UGC permitted two-cycle admissions for the ODL modes, there was a significant rise in the number of enrolments. A total of 19,73,056 students enrolled in July 2022, with an additional 4,28,854 students in January 2023. The numbers showed that a second academic session in a year enabled nearly half a million students to join the degree programmes of their choice without waiting a full academic year.”

Answering if the decision was taken by keeping all the stakeholders on board, Mr Kumar said, “The biannual admission system is a global practice, admissions are conducted twice a year in all global universities. Only in our country, it is done once a year. After seeing the response of the students in the online programme, we wanted to provide a similar option to the universities that offer courses in physical mode also. So this is not a mandatory requirement for institutions to offer the courses biannually. Only those colleges, that have the required infrastructure and faculty members, can opt for this system.”

On if the decision was aimed at aligning the education with the international standards, Mr Kumar explained, “It is the national requirement to increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER), and is also a strong recommendation of the NEP 2020. So it is the social responsibility of higher educational institutions to increase students intake. If admissions are conducted twice in a year and if universities effectively utilise the available infrastructure and the teaching faculty, they can actually admit more students and help in improving the GER. 

Mr Kumar asserted that since the move has been introduced as an option and not as a mandatory step, it is has not received any objection from any university. The universities will require some planning and time to decide on how they can implement this biannual system. Only those universities who are in position to offer can offer. They have six months time to plan and implement the biannual admission system as the next admission process will be held in January-February.

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