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Over the years, M.Phil degrees have slowly been losing its popularity among the youth of India. The Government of India has also been planning to bring an element of research at the undergraduate level as well as restructure some of the courses at the higher education level. With the approval of the New Education Policy, it has been decided that M.Phil will be discontinued.
However, many academicians and stakeholders have pointed out the ambiguity regarding the topic. While the National Education Policy has announced the abolishment of M.Phil degrees moving forward, questions regarding the validity of M.Phil degrees holders, the applications received for M.Phil courses for the current academic year, doubts regarding the research-based degrees of the future, are yet to be answered.
The reduced popularity of the program and the changes suggested by the Government of India have resulted in the removal of M.Phil degrees from educational institutions in India. In fact, aspirants will be able to pursue doctoral programmes after completing a four-year bachelor’s degree.
According to the New Education Policy states that the undergraduate degrees offered by the colleges may be of a duration of 3 or 4 years. It further mentions that the colleges and universities can also offer various exit options with pertinent certificates, in the duration of the course. For instance, the students completing two years of a professional or vocational degree may be offered advanced diplomas in a discipline, while, a diploma can be awarded to those who complete one year of the programme.
The four-year programme has been designed to offer the students with the opportunity to “experience the full range of liberal arts education”. It added that the programme will be known as Bachelor of Liberal Arts (BLA) or Bachelor of Liberal Education (BLE) in various subjects. Both BLA and BLE will lead to a Bachelors Degree with Research if the student is able to complete a meticulous research programme as per the guidelines of the higher educational institution.
On the other hand, the three-year programme will lead to the usual Bachelor's Degree. The colleges and universities have the liberty to call the 3-year degrees as Bachelor of Arts, Science, Vocational or any other apt professional discipline.
For the past 5 years, the Indian Government has been working on the New Education Policy, making several changes, which, in the words of President Ram Nath Kovind, (NEP) will make India into a Knowledge Superpower. On 31st May 2019, the K Kasturirangan Committee had released the final report of the policy to the public.
There have been over 1,15,000 meetings that have been conducted by the MHRD and its committee regarding the policy. More than 2,00,000 suggestions from the public have been received by the MHRD since June 2019. The Ministry has been working on the final draft of the New Education Policy since June’19.