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How to pursue two degrees simultaneously in India?

Online Manipal Editorial Team | May 05, 2022

Last month, the University Grants Commission (UGC) made a significant announcement for students in India. India’s top higher education regulatory body released guidelines detailing the process to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously. This has been welcomed with open arms by the student community. It is being seen as a dream come true for students who have been demanding dual degrees for a long time now. 

The UGC announcement

In a letter to vice-chancellors of all universities, the UGC said the Commission examined the issue of allowing students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously based on National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which emphasises the need to facilitate multiple pathways to learning involving both formal and non-formal education modes. The letter requested all the universities and their affiliated colleges/institutions to implement the guidelines for students’ benefit. 

How does one get two simultaneous degrees?

By approving this novel proposal, UGC aims to meet the recommendations envisaged in the NEP 2020. The Education Policy has proposed promoting each student’s holistic development in academic and non-academic spheres by fostering their uniqueness. It also recommends eliminating hard separations, hierarchies, and silos between different areas of learning, such as separation between arts and science subjects, curricular and extracurricular activities etc. NEP also promotes multidisciplinary studies across various streams and seeks to enable facility for studying one or more specialised areas of interest. 

The guidelines further elaborate on the scope of the simultaneous dual degrees. Students can pursue any academic programme except PhD programmes under this scheme as per the university regulations. 

  1. A student can pursue two full-time academic programmes in the physical mode provided the class timings for one programme do not overlap with the class timings of the other programme.  
  1. A student can pursue two academic programmes, one in full-time physical mode and another in Open and Distance Learning (ODL)/Online mode; or up to two ODL/Online programmes simultaneously.  
  1. Degree or diploma programmes under ODL/Online mode shall be pursued with only such HEIs which are recognized by UGC/Statutory Council/Govt. of India for running such programmes.  
  1. Degree or diploma programmes under these guidelines shall be governed by the Regulations notified by the UGC and also the respective statutory/professional councils, wherever applicable.  
  1. These guidelines shall come into effect from the date of their notification by the UGC. No retrospective benefit can be claimed by the students who have already done two academic programmes simultaneously prior to the notification of these guidelines.  

Benefits of pursuing two degrees in parallel

As stated in the UGC guidelines, pursuing two academic programmes are beneficial for students. It may help them gain knowledge from two disciplines or courses on two levels. For example, a student can enrol in a technical programme while pursuing a humanities course. Let’s find out more benefits: 

  1. Expertise in two or more disciplines or subjects: You can enrol in two programmes in the same disciplines or different disciplines. It will help you specialise in more than one subject/discipline, which would be beneficial for you to continue higher education and do interdisciplinary research. 
  1. Learning from two institutions: The UGC chairman stated in his press conference that a student can pursue two programmes from the same university or different universities. “The degrees can either be pursued from the same or different universities,” said M Jagadesh Kumar, chairperson of UGC. “If a student is doing BA (economics) as a day scholar in the physical mode, the student will also have the opportunity to do another degree programme of the same level in a nearby university maybe as an evening programme,” he further explained. It can be done as per the scheme devised by the respective universities. Thus, you will get the learning experience of two institutions at the same time. 
  1. Gaining multiple skill sets: Pursuing two academic programmes at a time will help you acquire multiple skill sets from one or more disciplines or domains. For example, if you are pursuing an M.Sc. Computer Science degree in regular mode in Manipal University Jaipur, you can enrol in an online MBA at Online Manipal. This way, you could have both technical skills in Computer Science and managerial skills by the time you graduate. It may enable you directly enter a manager level job. Being skill-rich will improve your employability prospects. 
  1. Alumni status from two HEIs: Obtaining an alumni status from prestigious institutions boosts professional status and would be helpful throughout one’s professional life. Pursuing two academic programmes at a time will help you acquire the alumni status of two institutions. As a result, you can enjoy the alumni benefits of two institutions and build a strong professional network, that will assist you in finding lucrative jobs and advancing in your career. 
  1. Better career opportunities: Pursuing two academic programmes simultaneously is an advantage for all graduates in terms of career opportunities. You will have job options in more than one domain. If you are unsuccessful in finding a job in one subject, you can highlight the other subject in your resume to land a job related to that domain. You can also switch your domain or job effortlessly when you wish to shift your career trajectory in future.  

Can you do dual degree through Online Manipal?

An online degree can be the best second option to pursue with a physical degree programme. Online Manipal is a brilliant platform to do two online degree programmes in parallel. As per the guidelines, students pursuing a physical or regular programme can enrol in either another regular programme or distance or online programme. Students who pursue a regular course at Manipal University Jaipur can enrol in any of our online degree programmes through the Online Manipal platform to gain more knowledge and in-demand skills to prepare for future workplaces. 

Online Manipal offers a few undergraduate, postgraduate, and PG certificate courses from institutions under the prestigious Manipal Group. Currently, Online Manipal offers UGC-entitled online BBA, BCA, B.Com, MBA, MCA, M.Com, and MA JMC from Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ); and M.Sc. Business Analytics, M.Sc. Data Science, MBA, and two PG Certificate Programmes (PGCP) in Business Analytics and Logistics & Supply Chain Management from the premier Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). 

You can pursue the online degrees at Online Manipal from the comfort of your home at your convenient pace. Expert academicians at Manipal designed the online degree curriculum with inputs from the industry. The platform also provides placement assistance to students to find suitable jobs and thrive in their careers. 

Who is eligible for dual degree at Online Manipal?

  • Students of MUJ who are pursuing on-campus undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are eligible to apply for a simultaneous online programme.

Who should enrol for a second degree?

  • On-campus UG students looking to pursue a second bachelor’s degree programme
  • On-campus PG students looking to pursue a second master’s degree

Conclusion

The UGC has fulfilled a long-time demand of students by approving simultaneous dual academic programmes. Once implemented, this scheme will be beneficial for students to acquire multiple skill sets that will allow them to excel in their careers. We at Online Manipal are excited about the news and are looking forward to seeing this through to implementation. 

We believe that this decision will revolutionise the higher education sector in India. What do you think? Do share your thoughts with us. 

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