According to senior HRD officials, students – most probably on their return to India – will be expected to earn a few more credits or do an additional course to secure validity for the master’s degree earned in the UK.

This is what we learnt in an India Today article (link below) titled UK MASTERS DEGREES TO BE VALID IN INDIA SOON. However the above quote from the article doesn’t indicate to me that the UK MASTERS will get EQUAL STATUS as Indian Masters. It merely indicates that post mapping, the returning students will be able to claim credits and may have to do some additional studies in India to gain equivalence. On a second reading of the article I note that it doesn’t use the word “equivalence” but simply the word “valid”. Possibly it is right and that the two words are not interchangeable.

Maybe it is also time that a real system of seeking credits into Indian programs through RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING evolves. This will then help several students from around the world including the NZ Masters students whose degrees are also of lesser durations and UK 3 year Engineering degrees which are a year short to the Indian engineering degrees.

A Master’s degree from the UK – which thousands of Indian students aspire for every year – is not recognised in India. As a result, candidates holding such degrees are ineligible for higher studies such as an M.Phil or Ph.D. But this is set to change.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), with the help of the University Grants Commission (UGC), is now working on developing a system of equivalence between Indian and UK degrees.

The government has set up a UK-India master’s mapping project under the chairmanship of UGC head Ved Prakash for the purpose, which is expected to submit its recommendations in about a month’s time.

According to senior HRD officials, students – most probably on their return to India – will be expected to earn a few more credits or do an additional course to secure validity for the master’s degree earned in the UK.

“The mapping committee is currently trying to identify and match the learning outcomes of what a student achieves at the end of two years in a master’s programme in India and at the end of a year in the UK. The committee has first sought some basic information from the UK authorities,” a senior HRD official said.

Currently, the Association of Indian Universities or AIU is the body responsible for granting recognition or equivalence to foreign degrees in India, and as of today, it does not validate master’s degrees of under two years’ duration.

Because of this, students returning from the UK cannot do an M.Phil or Ph.D. in India or take up government jobs. However, some private employers do accept the UK degree.

Indian degrees typically cover a broader curriculum, including a greater number of core subject areas. In contrast, the UK programmes are more specialised and have elective courses that students can pick. But there is a similarity between the depth of knowledge and understanding attained by students doing the one-year UK master’s degree or the two-year Indian one.

This issue was raised by the UK with the Indian government in 2011, which led to former HRD minister Kapil Sibal setting up a joint task force to consider mutual recognition of degrees.



  1. Thank god …at least things are moving in this context Some conclusive moves can be seen..I hope the mapping committee turns out to be considerate and things are in favour of students from UK


  2. I hope the equivalence is applied retrospectively i.e. for the students who have already returned to India.


    1. I am not sure but my feeling is that AIU has not been accepting the 1 year degree for a long time. I also anticipate that it will be difficult for it to accept it in future too. The proposal is that it may get credits or RPL into another Indian degree or may be there is a top up program. However this too will be difficult to implement.


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