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Relaxation in foreign degree recognition norms

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The Times of India |

PUNE: Students acquiring degrees from foreign universities in a duration shorter than the one prescribed for such degrees in India will now find it easier to secure equivalence and recognition to their qualification in the country.  The Association of Indian Universities (AIU), the apex body of universities in India, has decided to relax the norms for recognition of foreign degrees acquired in shorter duration owing to reasons such as credit transfers, credit exemptions and acquisition of credits during summer/winter courses. The association has released a handbook on ‘Policies and procedure for equivalence of qualification/degrees’, which provides for certain relaxation in the equivalence to foreign degrees. According to a notification issued by the HRD ministry, foreign qualifications which are recognized or equated by the AIU are treated as recognized for the purpose of employment to posts and services under the central government. “This move is in line with the ongoing reforms like credit and semester systems at universities in the country that are aimed at taking Indian higher education on par with the global practices,” education and law consultant Ravi Bhardwaj told TOI on Tuesday.

“As of now, foreign degrees are recognized in India on a course-to-course basis after the proposal for equivalence of foreign qualification is received from an Indian Mission abroad or from the university concerned. The emphasis for granting such recognition would be on the duration of the course. For example, if the duration of a degree course in India is 36 months then the student securing the same degree from a foreign university is also needed to complete the course in 36 months and not in a lesser duration,” he said. “However, the system of credit transfer, credit exemptions and summer/winter courses at universities in foreign countries has made it possible for students to complete their course in a duration lesser than those applicable to universities in India. Often, a students who acquired foreign degree in a shorter duration faces problem in terms of securing equivalence in India,” he added. “With the increase in mobility of students across a wide range of universities in different countries, the number of pleas reaching the AIU for equivalence has gone up significantly. The practice of case-by-case evaluation of each request has often been found as time consuming and the focus now on the aspects such as eligibility requirements for admission, duration of the programme and accreditation status of the university concerned,” he said.
Relaxed Norms Apply to
Degrees Awarded In Shorter Duration: The duration should, instead of being measured in terms of precise number of months/years, be measured in terms of completion of the number of semesters/trimesters and credits. When the degrees have been awarded upon completion of as many semesters/trimesters and credits as prescribed by Indian universities, the degrees should be granted equivalence. Degrees awarded where the university has accepted credits taken by students from other universities/degree-awarding institutions, including those in India: As acceptance of credits and credit transfer is a normal practice in most foreign universities and that the same is also being encouraged in India, the AIU may accord equivalence to such foreign degrees where the duration have been shortened on account of credits accepted by the foreign universities as long as the degrees awarded by foreign universities meets all other parameters specified by the AIU. Degrees awarded where the university has granted exemption to the student from certain number of credits or certain number of semesters: Given the fact that foreign universities grant exemptions to their students on the basis of their academic records/attainment/transfers from other higher educational institutions, the AIU has decided to grant equivalence to such foreign degrees where the duration have been shortened on account of exemption granted by the foreign universities so long as the degree meets all other parameters specified by the AIU. – Courtesy


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