The Delhi University’s four-year undergraduate programme sounds promising. Would you take it up yourself?

Dubbed as a move to enhancing students’ employability, entrepreneurial skills and research inclinations to suit the tastes and talents of each one, the Delhi University’s Four-Year Undergraduate Course is much in the news these days.

To be implemented from the 2013–14 academic session, the new format which replaces the three-year graduation programme, will offer Foundation Courses and permit a student to specialise in Discipline Courses along with acquiring employment-skills–enhancing Application Courses for over four years. The course offers the student an option to leave at the end of two years with a Diploma or at the end of three years with a Bachelor’s degree or at the end of four years with a Bachelor with Honours/B.Tech degree. It also promises inter-disciplinary exposure, holistic growth of students through co-curricular activities and other benefits.

Years one and two

In the first year, a student will take up one main or major subject for Bachelors Honours/B.Tech degree. This main subject is called Discipline Course-1 (DC-1) and will carry 33 per cent weightage while the remaining 67 per cent weightage will be given to compulsory Foundation Courses (FC) which will help a student understand the challenges in India. Students will work in a hands-on manner and their communication, IT and data-analysis skills are sought to be improved in this inter-disciplinary mode.

The Foundation Courses consist of language, literature, and creativity –1 (Hindi/Language/English); information technology, business, entrepreneurship, and management; governance and citizenship; psychology, communication and life skills; geography and socio-economic diversity; science and life; history, culture and civilisation; building mathematical ability and environment and public health. In the second year, a student will continue the main subject or DC-1 which will now carry 34 per cent weightage. In addition, he or she will be further asked to take up smaller number of Foundation Courses carrying 34 per cent weightage. This year, the student will also have to choose from a wide variety of subjects (a maximum of two) for additional knowledge outside the main subject. These two courses are minor courses or Discipline Courses-II (DC-II) with 16 per cent weightage. Also, two courses will have to be chosen from applied subjects. These Applied Courses, with 16 per cent weightage will be skill-based courses that will give practical knowledge and is expected to increase employability or make students entrepreneurs even if they exit after two years with a Diploma.

Third year

The weightage for the major subject changes in the third year: The main subject will receive 60 per cent weightage and the minor subject (DC-II) 20 per cent. There will be no more Foundation Courses and 20 per cent weightage will go to Applied Courses. If a student exits after the third year, he or she carries a Bachelor’s Degree.

Final year

Finally in the fourth year, major subject or DC-1 will be taught in-depth along with research methodology and a student will have to write a short dissertation. This will carry 75 per cent weightage. The remaining 25 per cent weightage will go to minor or DC-II subject. This will result in a Bachelor with Honours degree or a B.Tech degree. The new programme will continue to be semester-based and will have two semesters every year, the assessment system is also likely to remain the same. There will be classes on integration of mind, body and heart and cultural activities like NCC, sports and NSS but these will be non-credit–based. Interestingly, any student exiting after two or three years can rejoin the course within 10 years of leaving. The University of Delhi will start the admission process from June 5 with an entrance test in some disciplines.