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The Hindu
The Hindu
R. Sujatha

UGC nod soon for short-term skill development courses

Higher education institutions (HEIs) will soon have the freedom to introduce short-term, credit-linked skill development certificate courses of 3-6 months. 

The self-financing courses may be offered to those who have qualified in the senior secondary exam (10+2) and are eligible for admission to any undergraduate programme of the institution. The University Grants Commission (UGC), at its meeting on December 7, approved the guidelines for the HEIs to start such courses. The draft will be published on its website for public comments. 

As many as 29 courses have been included. The HEIs could offer courses, provided they have the infrastructure and training capacity. A short-term course in any stream shall be of at least 12 credits and a maximum of 30 credits, with greater focus on practical learning. The curriculum may be developed in consultation with the relevant sector skill councils or existing accredited bodies or institutions and industry partners. Candidates may take a maximum of two courses during their degree/diploma programmes. Institutions may have a say in how they conduct the theory classes, but the hands-on training must happen in an industry setting or workshop.  

Joint certificates

The HEIs shall conduct assessments for the courses and may issue joint certificates with the respective sector skill council(s). If the course is offered with an industry partner/council/professional body, joint certification may be provided. Students must have an Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) account to deposit the credits earned and the certificates would be made available in digital form through the National Academic Depository (NAD) and/or Digi-Locker. The HEIs must be upfront and declare the fee and the fee refund policy on their websites.  

UGC Chairman Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar said, “We will soon be making this draft available for public feedback. The HEI may collaborate with the relevant sector skills councils/awarding bodies and industries to gain credibility, access to placement opportunities, funding schemes and training, and ensure up-to-date course content.”  

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