Guidelines for Pursuing Two Academic Programmes Simultaneously


The National Education Policy – NEP 2020 states that pedagogy must evolve to make education more experiential, holistic, integrated, inquiry-driven, discovery-oriented, learner- centred, discussion-based, flexible, and, of course, enjoyable. The policy envisions imaginative and flexible curricular structures to enable creative combinations of disciplines for study, that would offer multiple entry and exit points, thus, removing currently prevalent rigid boundaries and creating new possibilities for life-long learning and centrally involve critical and
interdisciplinary thinking.

With the rapid increase in demand for higher education and limited availability of seats in regular stream, several Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have started a number of programmes in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode to meet the aspirations of students. It has also led to the emergence of online education programmes which a student can pursue within the comforts of her / his home. The issue of allowing the students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously has been examined by the Commission keeping in view the proposals envisaged in the National Education Policy – NEP 2020 which emphasizes the need to facilitate multiple pathways to learning involving both formal and non-formal education modes.

In view of above, UGC has framed the following Guidelines


To allow the students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously keeping in view the following objectives envisaged in NEP 2020:

  • Recognizing, identifying, and fostering the unique capabilities of each student, by sensitizing teachers as well as parents to promote each student’s holistic development in both academic and non-academic spheres;
  • No hard separations between arts and sciences, between curricular and extra- curricular activities, between vocational and academic streams, etc. in order to eliminate harmful hierarchies among, and silos between different areas of learning;
  • Multidisciplinarity and a holistic education across the sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and sports for a multidisciplinary world in order to ensure the unity and integrity of all knowledge;
  • Enabling an individual to study one or more specialized areas of interest at a deep level, and also develop character, ethical and constitutional values, intellectual curiosity, scientific temper, creativity, spirit of service.
  • Offering the students, a range of disciplines including sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, languages, as well as professional, technical, and vocational subjects to make them thoughtful, well-rounded, and creative individuals.
  • Preparing students for more meaningful and satisfying lives and work roles and enable economic independence.


  1. A student can pursue two full time academic programmes in physical mode provided that in such cases, class timings for one programme do not overlap with the class timings of the other programme.
  2. A student can pursue two academic programmes, one in full time physical mode and another in Open and Distance Learning (ODL)/Online mode; or up to two ODL/Online programmes simultaneously.
  3. Degree or diploma programmes under ODL/Online mode shall be pursued with only such HEIs which are recognized by UGC/Statutory Council/Govt. of India for running such programmes.
  4. Degree or diploma programmes under these guidelines shall be governed by the Regulations notified by the UGC and also the respective statutory/professional councils, wherever applicable.
  5. These guidelines shall come into effect from the date of their notification by the UGC. No retrospective benefit can be claimed by the students who have already done two academic programmes simultaneously prior to the notification of these guidelines.

The above guidelines shall be applicable only to the students pursuing academic programmes other than Ph.D. programme.

Based on the above guidelines, the universities can devise mechanisms, through their statutory bodies, for allowing their students to pursue two academic programmes simultaneously as mentioned above.

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