New 2-credit course in rural engagement gets UGC nod

UGC approves a new 2-credit compulsory course in rural engagement for all students

NEW DELHI: The university grants commission (UGC) has finalised a 30-hour duration compulsory course in community engagement for higher education students.

The compulsory course, which is expected to be rolled out in higher education institutions from the forthcoming academic session, will earn two credits to the students.

The commission has also approved a national curricular framework and guidelines for “fostering social responsibility and community engagement” in the higher educational institutions, asking the universities and other higher educational institutions to evolve a mechanism to adopt it.

The framework, which will be implemented across all higher education institutions, seeks to "instill" the concept of rural community engagement and social responsibility in higher education institutions under HRD ministry's Unnat Bharat Abhiyan 2.0 to ensure that they play “an important role” in the socio-economic development of rural India.

The commission has plans to organise regional workshops to enable institutions suitably adopt the national curriculum framework, which requires them to modify their existing curriculum across all disciplines and programmes to incorporate relevant topics pertaining to rural development .

“It is important that the classroom theory is linked to the realities of the local field areas. Thus, existing courses can be adapted, both in content and pedagogy, for community engagement to facilitate learning from the field,” the UGC underlines in it guidelines for implementation of the framework.

“For instance, management curriculum may include aspects of micro-financing in rural context; chemistry syllabus can have a component of conducting water and soil analysis in surrounding field areas; political science syllabus could include mapping of local rural governance institutions and their functioning.”

According to the UGC, the two credit compulsory course to be rolled out across all higher education institutions at undergraduate and post graduate level seeks to develop an appreciation of rural culture, life-style and wisdom among the students.

“They would also learn about the status of various agricultural and rural development
programmes as well as understand causes for rural distress and poverty and explore solutions for the same. They will be able to apply classroom knowledge of courses to field realities and thereby improve quality of learning,” the UGC hopes.

EoM/

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