The University Grants Commission (UGC) wrote to universities last Friday to implement a basic course on human values and ethical behaviour at the undergraduate level and a more advanced programme at the level of postgraduate studies.
The UGC’s new guidelines, Mulya Pravah: Inculcation of Human Values and Professional Ethics in Higher Education Institutions 2.0,” require universities to assign human values projects, appoint a “value officer,” and conduct a “value audit” of human values and professional ethics.
The UGC’s 2019 rules have been updated to include NEP-2020’s core suggestions. According to the declaration, India’s rich cultural heritage, human values, and constitutional principles must be restored.
The new ethics course recommends student training and workshops, an outreach programme on human values and professional ethics, and active student participation in national programmes like Fit India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and Jal Sanrakshan Abhiyan. It also suggests working with non-profits.
नया नैतिकता पाठ्यक्रम छात्र प्रशिक्षण और कार्यशालाओं, मानवीय मूल्यों और पेशेवर नैतिकता पर एक आउटरीच कार्यक्रम, और फिट इंडिया, स्वच्छ भारत अभियान और जल संरक्षण अभियान जैसे राष्ट्रीय कार्यक्रमों में सक्रिय छात्र भागीदारी की सिफारिश करता है। यह गैर-लाभ के साथ काम करने का भी सुझाव देता है।
संशोधित दिशानिर्देश एक ऐसे पाठ्यक्रम और शिक्षाशास्त्र का प्रस्ताव करते हैं जो मौलिक कर्तव्यों और संवैधानिक मूल्यों के प्रति गहरा सम्मान पैदा करता है, किसी के देश के साथ संबंध, और सत्य (सत्य), धर्मी आचरण (धर्म), शांति (शांति), प्रेम (प्रेम) के सार्वभौमिक मानवीय मूल्यों, अहिंसा (अहिंसा), वैज्ञानिक स्वभाव, नागरिकता मूल्य और जीवन कौशल।
Ethical and human-value thoughts and edifications should be displayed in public areas and in official letters, according to the rules.
UGC’s ethics curriculum and credit system
The revised guidelines propose a curriculum and pedagogy that instills deep respect for fundamental duties and constitutional values, bonding with one’s country, and universal human values of truth (satya), righteous conduct (dharma), peace (shanti), love (prema), non-violence (ahimsa), scientific temper, citizenship values, and life skills.
The text also suggests teaching and understanding Indian scriptures based on the Indian Knowledge System, the laws of karma and nishkarma (activity and selflessness), and five hours of yoga per week. Constitutional principles, global citizenship, young values and skills, integrated personalities, and well-being are also taught.
According to the syllabus, one credit of tutorial work requires one hour every week. In a semester, a one-credit tutorial requires 15 hours of work. In a 15-week semester, a one-credit practicum requires 30 hours of work.
Pedagogical approaches include classroom lectures, experience-based and simulated activities and exercises, hands-on learning assignments, and conversations. Community service, yoga, athletics, music, and arts and crafts must be done for 15 hours. Two hours per week are required for a one-credit community participation and services course and fieldwork. The universities can distribute course credits over six to eight semesters to help students satisfy the minimal credit requirements.
“Mulya Pravah” establishes a new paradigm for a fair and just world. The guidelines add, “It draws upon the innate space of universal values within people (individuals and communities) to plan and implement strategic change and generate measurable results.”
After UGC wrote to universities, the Academic for Action and Development Delhi Teachers’ Association (AADTA) questioned the “unilateral imposition” and “lack of intent” of the new norms.
ADTA strongly objects to UGC’s unilateral imposition of new criteria to accommodate NEP 2020 on May 12, 2023. These standards, like NEP , say a lot but do little. “Higher education thrives best when it is free from exogenous ethics and codes of conduct,” stated AADTA national incharge Aditya Narayan Misra.
The group also condemned the lack of clarity on monitoring the institution’s vice chancellor, principal, academic head, and finances needed to invite specialists for monitoring.
“The guidelines talk about everything in words, but how they will be quantitatively implemented is missing,” said Seema Das, another association member. Earlier, AADTA vigorously rejected attempts to impose ESMA and Civil Service norms on the faculty.