The University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar announced that the UGC has approved regulations for Indian and foreign higher education institutions (HEIs) to offer joint or dual degrees and twinning programmes. “Any Indian institution accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with a minimum score of 3.01 or in the top 100 in the university category of the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) or an Institution of Eminence can collaborate with any foreign institution in the top 500 of the Times Higher Education or QS World University ranking, without seeking any prior approval from the UGC,” Kumar said at a press conference. He added that the regulations shall not be applicable to programmes offered online and in the open and distance learning modes. Further, franchise arrangements or study centres would not be permitted under these regulations.
The degree offered under such twinning programmes shall be awarded by the Indian institution, Kumar said. For joint degree programmes, the curriculum shall be designed jointly by the collaborating Indian and foreign higher educational institutions and upon the completion of the programme, the degree will be awarded by both the institutions with a single certificate. A dual degree programme shall be a programme jointly designed and offered by the Indian and foreign HEIs in the same disciplines and subject areas and at the same level. The Indian higher educational institutions shall seek the necessary approvals from the relevant statutory councils and bodies before entering into collaborations in technical, medical, legal, agricultural and such other professional programmes.
“The degree awarded under these regulations shall be equivalent to any corresponding degree awarded by the Indian higher educational institution. There shall be no further requirement of seeking equivalence from any authority and the degree shall have all benefits, rights and privileges as obtaining in the case of a degree awarded by an Indian higher educational institution ordinarily,” Kumar said.