Soon, students of Bangalore University (BU) would be allowed to pursue an additional degree, through distance mode or part-time, in the same university or a different one.
BU’s Academic Council on Tuesday agreed to go ahead with this proposal, originally mooted by the University Grants Commission (UGC) last year. After procedural approvals, a committee would be constituted to draft the statutes and modalities to implement this proposal.
Briefing members of the council, Arts dean D Jeevan Kumar, a member of the deans’ committee that examined the proposal, cited British scientist C P Snow’s work The Two Cultures.
“Snow says that society is divided into Sciences and Humanities, where one doesn’t understand the other. However, allowing students to pursue a degree that is outside their choice of subjects would help widen their world view. So, a BSc student can enroll for a degree in Psychology at the same time via distance or part-time,” prof Kumar said.
The deans’ committee was constituted following a letter from the UGC in December asking BU to comment on this proposal to award joint degrees. “Although some deans felt academic standards may be diluted as students may not do justice to both degrees, others felt the traditional wall should be broken, giving an opportunity to aspiring students. As of now, BU does not allow students to pursue two degrees at the same time. We have stressed that students can do so only through distance mode or part-time and not regular mode,” Kumar said.
Currently, except for BU, other universities - state, deemed and private - have adopted choice-based credits system, allowing students to take one or two subjects of their choice, along with their regular degree. These credits, however, do not amount to another degree.
Standing Appeals Committee
The proposal to extend the time allowed for failed students to appear for examinations to complete a degree was opposed. Still, it was resolved to constitute a standing appeals committee comprising deans to ascertain the genuineness of each case.
Registrar (Evaluation) R K Somashekhar said many students had failed to pass in some subjects for years together. “For three-year UG courses, the maximum time within which students need to pass is six years. For a PG course, it is four years. For a five-year course, it is 10 years. Still, we receive requests from students who haven’t cleared subjects for more than 10 years,” he said.
The members opposed any general resolution allowing such students to appear for examinations again. “That way, we could have students who haven’t cleared their exams since 1964 taking the exams again,” joked Yeshwantpur MLA S R Vishwanath.