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Universities in India can now admit students twice a year on lines of foreign varsities: UGC chairman

Indian universities and higher education institutions can now admit students twice a year, similar to the admission process followed by foreign universities, according to the University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar.

The two admission cycles will commence from the 2024-25 academic session, with one in July-August and the other in January-February, marking a departure from the current practice of a single admission cycle.

“If Indian universities can offer admission twice a year, it will benefit many students,” Kumar said on Tuesday, highlighting the advantages of the biannual admission system. He explained that students who miss the July/August session due to delays in board results, health issues, or personal reasons will no longer have to wait an entire year for the next admission cycle.

Currently, UGC regulations allow higher education institutions (HEIs) to admit students in one academic session per year, typically starting in July/August. However, in its 571st commission meeting held on July 25, 2023, the UGC decided to permit biannual admissions under Open and Distance Learning (ODL) and Online modes, given the overwhelming response from students.

Building on the success of the ODL and online programs, the UGC took a policy decision on May 15 this year to extend the biannual admission option to HEIs offering regular mode programs as well, starting from the upcoming academic year.

Aligning with global educational standards, Kumar said, will improve India’s international collaborations, student exchanges, and overall global competitiveness. Furthermore, biannual admissions can substantially increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio and contribute to making India a ‘Global Study Destination’ as envisioned in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

Kumar said that offering biannual admissions is not mandatory for HEIs but rather a flexibility provided to those institutions with the required infrastructure and teaching faculty. HEIs will need to make suitable amendments to their institutional regulations to facilitate biannual admissions.

The move is expected to have far-reaching implications, including enabling industries to conduct campus recruitment twice a year, enhancing employment opportunities for graduates.

(Inputs from ANI)

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