UGC frames guidelines to start courses on Indian heritage to attract foreign students

UGC guidelines allow students to earn and store credits through academic bank of credits and receive certificates in digital form through the NAD.

UGC frames guidelines to start courses on Indian heritage to attract foreign students UGC has also issued guidelines to empanel artists and musicians in higher educational institutions (Representational Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
R. Radhika | May 10, 2023 - 2:31 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: To promote the rich cultural heritage of India, University Grants Commission has directed universities to offer certificate courses based on Indian heritage and culture.

The courses, as per the UGC guidelines released on Wednesday, will be short term multi-tier credit based modular programmes with multiple entry and exit based on Indian heritage and culture to promote the interest of people from abroad to visit India.

This will include dissemination and imparting of knowledge of various learning in universal human values, Vedic Maths, Yoga, Ayurveda, Sanskrit, Indian languages and even “sacrosanct religious regions” the guidelines states. The guidelines prescribe learning on archaeological sites and monuments, heritage of India, Indian literature, Indian sculpture, Indian music and dance forms, drama, visual and performing arts, along with Indian Knowledge system.

The UGC has listed 46 “tentative areas” in which the universities can offer the courses. It includes Indian culture, Indian ethics or values, Indian music or dance, Indian folklore, Indian manuscript system, astrology, Indian rituals among others. Indian languages and literature like Kannada, Pali, Prakrit, Sanskrit, Malayalam, Bengali are also included in the list of courses.

Based on the degree of learning outcomes and the rigor of the curricular structure of relevant disciplines, the course can be offered at three distinct levels: introductory, intermediate and advanced level.

As per the guidelines, people from any country having interests in Indian heritage and knowledge system and who enrolled in such specific courses for acquiring knowledge shall be eligible for admission. The universities offering such programmes are free to decide specific eligibility conditions. In April, UGC had put draft guidelines for incorporating Indian Knowledge Systems (IKS) in higher education curriculum for public comments.

Also Read| Expertise in Vedas, Puranas to fetch credits under National Credit Framework

UGC’s programme framework

The programmes can be offered in hybrid mode for at least 60 learning hours. The guidelines also recommend “discourse with learned educators (Acharyas), artists, artisans, craftsman, confluence with religious devotees (Satsang), exposer to folk cultures and visit of famous places in the programmes, especially at advanced level under this scheme.”

The credit earned in such programmes will be recognised under the credit transfer system by any of the educational institutes through the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) for credit accumulation and towards certification of academic awards. However, the required credits, necessary educational component and requisite level of learning outcome will be decided by the university offering such courses.

UGC certificate course assessment

Apart from the contents on what subjects to offer, the new guidelines also have listed methods to carry the assessments of enrolled students. The guidelines prescribe continuous and comprehensive evaluation through project work, term papers, competitions, essay writing, speech and quizzes.

Periodically, the universities must also conduct computer based evaluation, viva voce and other appropriate assessment methodology based on the programme learning outcomes as recommended in the UGC's evaluation reforms document.

At the end of the course, students will be awarded certificates made available in digital form through the National Academic Dipository, or NAD.

Also Read| Compulsory training on Indian Knowledge Systems for college faculty: UGC draft guidelines

Artists empanelment in universities

The UGC has also issued guidelines to streamline the process of engaging artists or Kala guru in higher educational institutes. As per the rules, the universities can invite any artist or kala guru who has participated in at least five international, national or government recognised concerts or exhibition or art fairs. Artists from traditional families or Gharana of an art form can also be invited to teach provided they furnish proof of fame of the artist’s lineage.

The application of artists-in residence at the university will be assessed by a committee constituted by the educational institute. The duration of engagement can be decided by the concerned university. The guideline has divided three levels of artists including artists, parama guru or outstanding artists and parameshti guru or eminent artists.

The empanelled Kala Gurus will be provided a suitable well-equipped workplace to carry out the activities having requisite facilities and materials along with other assistance needed to deliver the learning, the guidelines states.

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