Since degrees awarded by an Indian University are generally recognized by all universities in the country, there is no major problem on this account. But issue arises when a student has achieved a degree from Foreign University and seeks recognition of that degree in India.
Initially, the equivalence was accorded by the AIU on course-to-course basis only after the proposal for equivalence of foreign qualification was received from an Indian Mission aboard or from the university concerned.
As the mobility of students increased across a wide range of universities in many different countries and the number of cases seeking AIU equivalence multiplied, the then practice of case by case evaluation of each request was found time consuming and unsustainable. The policy was therefore changed to recognize the system of education on the basis of such parameters as (a) Eligibility requirements for admission; (b) Duration of the programme; and (c) Accreditation status of the University concerned.
Recognizing the difficulties faced by students on account of the fact that many a foreign universities allow students to complete their programme of studies in less than the prescribed duration either due to exemption from certain number of credits, or due to acceptance of certain credits already taken or because a student is permitted to take certain credits during vacation etc, the AIU has in depth considered the issue of degrees awarded in lesser duration in terms of years of studies than applicable in case of Indian universities and has resolved to accord equivalence the foreign degrees in cases where the prescribed programme duration is at least the same as prescribed in India but a student was awarded degree within a shorter duration due to credit transfer, exemption and summer/winter courses, AIU has decided to grant certain relaxation in according equivalence in the following situations:
(a) Degrees awarded in lesser duration in terms of years of studies than applicable in case of Indian universities even though the student may have completed all the credits specified by the university and/or the semesters as applicable in case of Indian universities: Keeping the requirements of minimum duration of degrees in consideration, 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 all such cases where the degrees have been awarded upon completion of as many semester/trimester as are prescribed in case of Indian universities be awarded equivalence;
(b) 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 so long as the degrees awarded by foreign universities meets all other parameters specified by the AIU;
(c) 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.
Students having obtained their Qualifications/Degrees from Foreign Universities may apply for the Equivalence Certificate from AIU in the prescribed Form. Equivalence is however subject to other conditions as laid down by AIU
Credit Transfer Recognition has been a big issue in India and the new Regulations are really a ray of new hope for Indian Students. This will allow the students to come to back to India. In absence of the recognition, they were forced in remain in foreign country and seek employment. “Brain Gain” and not “Brain Drain” is underlying manifestation of the new Regulations. These relaxations would enable thousands of students to return to India to pursue further studies here or get employment.
Earlier, AIU Equivalence required foreign courses to be done in full-time regular mode with durations same as specified by UGC, which meant traditional 3 years for Under-Graduate and 2 Years Post Graduate Courses.
However, some foreign universities conduct master’s programmes of 20 to 22 months, allowing the students to study during summer or winter vacations or take extra courses in a semester. Such courses were not recognised in India earlier. Now AIU has considered a departure and it will now be recognized in India.