Relevant sections of the UGC Act
The proposed switch from a three year undergraduation to a fouryear system with option for degree after 2/3/4 years has to be viewed froma national perspective. Entry 66 to List I of the Seventh Schedule to theConstitution specifically places on the Parliament the responsibility of co-ordination and determination of standards in Higher Education. TheUniversity Grants Commission was established vide THE UNIVERSITY GRANTSCOMMISSION ACT, 1956 by the Parliament for that purpose. Sections 22 andSection 24 of the said Act read as follows:
Section 22. (1) The right of conferring or granting degrees shall beexercised only by a University established or incorporated by or under aCentral Act, a Provincial Act or a State Act or an institution deemed to bea University under section 3 or an institution specially empowered by anAct of Parliament to confer or grant degrees.
(2) Save as provided in sub-section (1), no person or authority shallconfer, or grant, or hold himself or itself out as entitled to confer orgrant, any degree.
(3) For the purposes of this section, “degree’ means any such degreeas may, with the previous approval of the Central Government, be specifiedin this behalf by the Commission by notification in the official Gazette.
Section 24. Whoever contravenes the provisions of section 22 or section 23shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, andif the person contravening is an association or other body of individuals,every member of such association or other body who knowingly or wilfullyauthorises or permits the contravention shall be punishable with fine whichmay extend to one thousand rupees.
Relevant clause of the UGC Regulation on Grant of the First Degree
That the UGC(Minimum Standards of Instruction for the Grant of theFirst Degree through Formal Education)Regulations, 2003 specified in thatthe first degree cannot be awarded for a programme of less than three yearduration such as the proposed degree “Associate Baccalaureate” by theUniversity of Delhi.
8. Award of Degrees:
8.1 No student shall be eligible for the award of the first degree unlesshe/she has successfully completed a programme, of not less than three yearsduration and secured the minimum number of credits prescribed by theuniversity for the award of the degree.
8.2 The degree to be awarded may be called the bachelor’s degree in therespective discipline in accordance with nomenclature specified by the UGCunder Section 22 (3) of the UGC Act.
Relevant clauses of the Gazette Notification on Specification of Degrees
That vide a Gazette Notification dated 31.1.2004, the UniversityGrants Commission with the approval of the Central Government laid down“mandatory requirements viz. Minimum essential academic inputs required forawarding such degrees” :
Specification of Degrees
1. No University shall confer a degree in violation to the provisions ofthe notification. It shall be mandatory for the Universities to adhere tothe approved nomenclature of the degree(s) to ensure the observance of theminimum standard of instruction before award of a degree as hereinafterprescribed. Academic collaborations with the foreign Universities for thegrant of any degree/ diploma/ certificate shall also require prior approvalof the commission as hereinafter prescribed.
2. The consolidated list of UGC approved nomenclature of degree(s) forthe purpose of Section 22 (3) of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956is enclosed as Annexure. The approved nomenclature may be followed by thespecific area of specialization to be reflected in the parantheses.
3. The list shall be reviewed and updated by the UGC from time to timeunder intimation to all the universities. If a university wishes to start anew course it shall approach the UGC for its approval six months prior tostarting the degree programme.
4. The courses of study prescribed for the degree should have beenformally approved by the respective academic bodies of the university /institution such as – Board of Studies, Academic Council and GoverningCouncil.