4-year degrees, compulsory internships, international alumni connection, 14 lakh degrees uploaded online,

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Dr. Ravindra Kulkarni, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University is a busy man and it is no surprise given that he has the mantle to prepare Mumbai’s NEP 20.

In an exclusive chat with Free Press Journal, Dr. Kulkarni said he and various colleges around the city have been crammed into meetings over the past few weeks to get the NEP on the floors this academic year itself. The immediate plan is to work with the city’s 52 autonomous colleges and gradually make do with the others.

Some of the landmark changes that are expected to see the light of day are

– Diploma courses in 4 years instead of the current 3 years

-Mandatory internships with degree courses to make students job-worthy

-An international alumni base for Mumbai students to connect

-14 lakh degrees from last seven years already uploaded

-Unique course basket to be created by the University

– No compartmentalization of courses – a science student can easily learn the humanities.

-Progressive credit structure to enable smooth overseas admissions

– Nomenclature for the same subjects in all colleges to remain uniform

Elaborating on some of the points, Dr. Kulkarni said that the University is currently working on transforming the current three-year programs into four-year programs. This will allow those who go abroad not necessarily to benefit from an additional “academic” year. Diplomas will also be awarded at the end of the four-year program. It will transform the undergraduate degree as we know it. This will force colleges to consider more programs, assessments, and additional faculty to manage them.

The 21-member committee, while liaising with different academic bodies and councils of different universities, also develops credit structures for new programs/courses. “We create structures for core discipline major/minor courses, generic and professional courses, skills courses required for a certificate/diploma/diploma, MOOC programs, internship projects/ terrain, etc., all in accordance with the NHEQF guidelines published by UGC,” updated Professor Kulkarni.

Discussions on a degree including internship are ongoing within the University of Mumbai under the NEP guidelines, Prof. VC said that the University of Mumbai has already arranged a meeting with the Heads of Affiliated Colleges to a diploma program integrated into the internship.

Some more interesting revelations from Dr. Kulkarni revealed that the nomenclature of subjects in all colleges remains the same – often colleges apply different terms/names for the same subject which sometimes leads to confusion in admissions. The credits allocated to these subjects will also be equalized.

Another progressive idea is an online platform to connect Mumbai University students with alumni. “An online portal is being promoted to link alumni of Indian origin living abroad with foreign alumni,” Dr Kulkarni said.

And regarding the adoption of academic credit banking, Mumbai University is already registered on ABC, Dr. Kulkarni added that she has uploaded 14 lakh degrees from the past seven years on Digi Locker.

While NEP 2020 has been implemented by other states, Mumbai plans to do everything possible and nothing is left to chance for the megacity to get the perfect NEP this very year.

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