The controversial Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP), which was scrapped in 2014, may make a come back as a panel constituted by the HRD Ministry has recommended the programme among undergraduate courses reforms for the new National Education Policy.
The ministry officials, however, maintained that the committee has submitted its draft and no final decision has been taken yet.
The draft of the new National Education Policy (NEP), formulated by a panel led by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan, was handed over to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. He took charge as the Union Human Resource Development minister on Friday.
The panel has recommended re-introduction of the four-year course as part of the undergraduate reforms.
"Both three-year and four-year courses will be allowed to co-exist, but with multiple exit and entry options. The four-year programme will provide for greater rigour and allow students to conduct research optionally," the draft said.
"Students will graduate with a four-year Liberal Arts Science Education degree with Honours, or may graduate with a B Sc, BA, B Com or B Voc after completing three years with a suitable completion of credits within their subject," it said.
The four-year programme, the BLA or BLE in the chosen major and minors, will provide students the opportunity to experience the full range of liberal arts education. The three-year programme will lead to a Bachelors degree.
Both programmes may lead to a degree "with Research", if the student completes a rigorous research project as specified by the Higher Education Institute (HEI). HEIs may choose to call their three-year undergraduate degree a Bachelor of Arts, or Science, or Vocation, or the appropriate professional field, the draft report suggested.
The Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) introduced by the Delhi University under the regime of previous Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh was scrapped by former HRD minister Smriti Irani.
The panel has also recommended an overhaul of the teacher education system with the introduction of the four year programme.
"Teacher preparation for all school stages will be offered only in multidisciplinary universities through a four year programme, with the curricula and processes being revamped to address current issues with teacher preparation.
"Institutions currently offering the two year programme will either transition to this mode or be phased out; no new two year programmes will be given recognition," it said.
The existing NEP was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992.
A new education policy was part of the Bharatiya Janata Party's manifesto ahead of the 2014 general election.
Apart from Kasturirangan, the committee had eight members, including mathematician Manjul Bhargava. The experts also took into account the report of a panel formed by former HRD minister Smriti Irani and headed by ex-cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian.