DU to introduce four year undergraduates Honours courses like US

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Dinesh Singh VC Delhi University

Dinesh Singh, VC Delhi University

In an initiative that can certainly be classified as game changer, Delhi University is planning to add another academic year to its existing three-year undergraduate Honours degree starting 2013. This was announced by Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh on the first day of the second semester of Delhi University under-graduate courses.

According to  sources, the four-year degree will be structured in a way to ensure students benefit academically. In the 1st year, there would be a core curriculum comprising general studies in the first year with students allowed to opt for courses across streams. In the 2nd year students would choose a specialisation. How ever if the student wishes to drop out in the second year, he or she can opt for skill-based subjects and get a diploma. A student leaving in the third year will get a general degree while those completing four years will bag a specialized degree equivalent to a present-day Honours.

The proposed system of four year degree seems to be similar to the system followed in the US Universities. Even the proposal to allow students to opt for cross functional courses is analogous to what is followed in US.

According to university officials, experts are working on a mechanism to address possible problems that the switchover may create. While courses will carry credits to help students to migrate to other universities with a similar credit system, the university will also review the internal assessment system during its consultation with different stakeholders.

“The university is planning to introduce the four-year degree programme from 2013. Right now it is in the planning stage as we need to work out on a lot of issues. That is why we need to start early so that we are ready with our plans well on time,” Singh told.

“A student in the present course structure doesn’t get the necessary opportunity to understand his talent. He or she needs to discover that. A four-year degree course will ensure a platform to discover his inner talents, his or her area of interest after studying a wide range of subjects,” Singh said. “We need to change if we have to improve, otherwise the country will be affected adversely in the long run. A mathematics teacher should connect mathematics to other subjects. This is what we call cross-disciplinary,” he added.

The VC said during his interactions in colleges he had found students themselves wanted a larger range of subjects to choose from. “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 Singh.

DU had earlier announced that it is also a constituent of India’s first metavarsity which is supposed to start functioning from next academic year.