Karnataka Government Restores Three-Year Degree Program, Scrapping NEP 2020’s Four-Year Plan

The Karnataka government has announced the scrapping of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020‘s recommended four-year degree program in public universities and affiliated colleges. Instead, the state has opted to reinstate the traditional three-year degree program, effective from the academic year 2024-25.

The decision, outlined in a government order issued on Wednesday, follows mounting concerns from students and educational institutions regarding the lack of clarity surrounding the four-year degree program proposed under the NEP.

This move comes after careful consideration of recommendations presented by the State Education Policy Commission, spearheaded by Prof Sukhdeo Thorat. The commission, in its initial interim report, suggested revisions to the duration and structure of degree programs, including the introduction of a multidisciplinary curriculum and provisions for multiple entry and exit points.

Consequently, the government has opted to restrict undergraduate degree programs to three years, with a focus on offering flexibility in choosing majors and specializations. Public universities and affiliated colleges have been granted the autonomy to provide a general degree with three majors over six semesters, or to allow for specialization from the fifth and sixth semesters onwards.

However, the decision regarding the implementation of multiple entry and exit points, entitling students to certificates after the first year and diplomas after the second year, remains pending. The government has stated that a final decision on this matter will be made after the submission of the commission’s comprehensive report.

Furthermore, the government has emphasized its commitment to revamping the curriculum framework to encompass a broader spectrum of knowledge, incorporate industry-relevant skill-based courses, and grant universities greater autonomy in designing region-specific programs. Additionally, the integration of apprenticeship-embedded degree courses is being considered to enhance students’ practical learning experiences.

In a press statement, the higher education department affirmed, ‘The focus remains on ensuring that the curriculum adapts to the evolving needs of students and the job market, while simultaneously empowering universities to innovate and cater to regional requirements.’

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