A great reform in the higher education system was implemented with the University Grants Commission’s announcement regarding the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for undergraduate programmes. Due to the CUCET, students no longer need to take multiple tests, which liberates them to focus on extracurricular activities. Universities in India are now aiming to incorporate education from several domains. There is an increasing need for skill-enhancing courses and hence Universities consider developing comparable talents in the students. To this objective, they have begun implementing a number of measures that will assist students. FinancialExpress.com caught up with Rohan Prem Sagar, Trustee & Board of Governors at Dayananda Sagar University to talk about issues facing India’s education sector. Excerpts:
With CUCET being introduced, how likely is it to impact the Higher Education space, and in what way?
The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for UG programs announced by the University Grants Commission (UGC) is a great reform in the higher education system in the country and is an important enabler of the New Education Policy (NEP) announced by the Government of India. CUCET makes it easy for aspirants looking to join university-level programs. This will help space out the potential of the students bringing uniformity in terms of admissions and assessments. Another major reason is to set students free from the additional exams that lead to increased pressure among students. CUCET has liberated students from multiple examinations helping them to also simultaneously focus on extracurricular activities. Students from remote areas can also benefit much from this systemization. This will enable equal opportunities bringing a win-win situation for all.
Is the Double degree initiative a remarkable move?
Definitely yes, as it has multiple pros over cons. The principal reason is that this initiative is a gateway to multiple career options. Students can make the best use of it by choosing appropriate degrees according to their preferred courses. Taking up a double degree program can increase your chances of acquiring job opportunities. More than that, a dual degree makes an individual potential to take up multiple jobs in the workplace making him/her eligible for Executive designation.
Students were more than eager to take up offbeat courses during the course of lockdown, which combinations can you suggest under the Double Degree initiative?
The pandemic period gave rise to a number of startups due to several reasons like layoffs, the urge to pursue their passion, side income hustle, and most importantly survival. Students started opting for offbeat courses considering the same would lift up the weightage towards specific offbeat career options. The double degree has made it possible to choose one offbeat and one regular course that will enhance the management/ technical and financial skills while focusing on the special skills. There are several options that can be looked upon in that case, like –
1) Economics and Supply Chain Management.
2) Economics and Global Politics
3) Foreign Language and Political Science
4) Environmental Science and Public Policy
5) Psychology and Criminal Justice
Is DSU planning anything on this front?
The announcement prompted us to act faster than ever before. On this front, we have a few effective plans. With our dedication to integrating education across domains, we have already prepared the ground in this direction in response to the UGC announcement. I must acknowledge that the UGC announcement on the double degree concept is admirable and timely, at least for Dayananda Sagar University in Bengaluru.
There is a growing demand for skill-enhancing courses, how does DSU look at incorporating the same?
Skill enhancement is the need of the hour. Companies are looking at skill-based hiring and giving preference to the candidates passing this criterion. The higher education system plays an important role in guiding students and making them aware of the required skills they should possess. This has encouraged the institutions in promoting skill enhancement courses to gain more visibility as both, an institution that promotes skill-based learning and also acquires good campus placement opportunities.