A uniform academic calendar for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the State has finally taken shape. A committee of Vice-Chancellors has prepared a final draft of a calendar of events for universities that is likely to be implemented from the next academic year.
The uniform academic calendar was approved by the Karnataka State Higher Education Council recently. Once the government notifies the calendar, odd semesters of all UG courses (semesters 1, 3 and 5) will start between June 15 to 30 and PG courses (except MBA and MCA) will start from August 1 to 15.
As of now, each university follows its own calendar of events and the new uniform calendar is applicable for all conventional universities except Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) and Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS).
The rationale behind a common academic calendar is to help postgraduate students move from one university to another better university, said T C Shivashankara Murthy, Vice-Chancellor, Mangalore University, who chaired the committee that drafted the uniform calendar.
“While the percentage of students moving from one university to another at UG level is less, we want to make sure that PG students, when there is an opportunity to move to a better university, will be able to go for it. For this to happen, we need a common academic calendar for UG courses as well,” Prof Murthy told Express.
The committee had Kuvempu University V-C S A Bari, VTU V-C H Maheshappa and Karnataka State Women’s University V-C Meena R Chandawarkar as members.
Bangalore University (BU) Vice-Chancellor B Thimme Gowda said BU would “try to adopt” the uniform calendar next academic year. “We are really slow compared to other universities mainly because our evaluation process takes a long time. Our 2, 4 and 6 UG semesters will start in January, which is a month and six days behind our calendar. With our present academic schedule slow, we can only try to follow a common calendar next year,” he said.
However, the new calendar seeks to accommodate delays in evaluation. “We have taken into consideration the delays in evaluation in universities. That is why there is a range of 15 days that we have provided for every academic activity, so that any delay can be accommodated in this period,” Prof Murthy explained.
Former BU V-C M S Thimmappa, however, cast his doubts on the feasibility of a common academic calendar. “As long as there is no unity in student strength and infrastructure, we cannot think of a common academic calendar. BU has close to three lakh students, while other universities don’t even have a lakh. Evaluation will naturally take long when there are more students. Also, a common calendar will destroy innovative pedagogy that each university may have as teachers will be forced to stick to deadlines,” he said.