New Delhi: Students pursuing degree-level courses are to be given only two additional years to clear their backlog and one more year under "exceptional" circumstances, new UGC guidelines have recommended.
The guidelines, which have been communicated to all varsity vice-chancellors across the country, are aimed at bringing uniformity in the timespan within which a student is allowed to complete a degree programme.
That would mean that a student pursuing an undergraduate programme which normally runs for three, or four years (for technical courses), would be given two more years to clear his back papers. Likewise, students at the post-graduate level would be given as many years to clear their backlog, if any.
"In exceptional circumstances, a further extension of one more year may be granted. During this extended period, the student shall, however, be considered a private candidate and not be eligible for ranking," the guidelines said.
UGC Chairman Ved Prakesh, however, said the guilines are recommendatory in nature and not binding on the institutions.
"Universities are best-placed to decide what durations are required for developing competence and the skill expected of a candidate," he said.
"These guidelines are subject to rules and regulations of statutory bodies and universities governing grant of degrees," a communication sent to the vice chancellors has underlined.
The guidelines were formulated after UGC constituted an expert committee to determine a uniform time period for completion of degree-level programmes following a Delhi High Court ruling.
Universities across the country have varying time periods for a student to complete a degree programme.