After nearly two decades, the University of Madras will be reviving the honours degree programme.

To start with, students keen on taking commerce group in the coming academic year will have a choice of opting for the regular three-year degree or four-year honours programme that is industry-integrated. The decision was taken at the recent syndicate meeting of the University and experts are working at framing the syllabus and other particulars.

The University decided to resurrect the honours programme keeping many factors in mind. G. Thiruvasagam, Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras, said industry needs students who know how to apply knowledge and therefore the curriculum is framed in keeping with the market demand.

Students would have to undergo one-year of internship in a company. “This programme would be beneficial for students who are planning to pursue higher studies abroad where a four-year under-graduate is generally preferred,” he added.

The University has 153 arts and science colleges affiliated to it and the choice would be given to all, including those in rural areas. But, colleges would have to meet certain criteria to run the programme.

“I am not sure if all colleges will be able to meet the requirements. They need to have additional lab facilities and develop links with industry to show us that students will be sent to the companies for internship,” he said. A total of 30 students can be enrolled. The initiative is ambitious and it will help retain interest in subjects as well as ensure that students get jobs after the four-year programme.

Banking, portfolio management, actuarial science and insurance would be among the subjects to figure in the curriculum.

If the programme is well received, the University plans to extend it to other disciplines.