'Others Will Follow BU's Honours Move'
Even as student bodies are crying hoarse over the lack of clarity on the introduction of honours programmes by Bangalore University, Vice-Chancellor B Thimme Gowda is confident that other universities in the state will follow suit once they see its success.
“Essentially, we are not altering the equilibrium. I have made it clear that the fourth year is optional. Students who do not wish to study the fourth year will still have their three optional subjects in the third year,” Prof Gowda told Express.
Terming the move student-friendly, Prof Gowda said one foundation course in each semester (six semesters) will help students improve their employability. He assured students that the University is taking all precautions to make sure they do not go through any inconvenience.
The All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO) has raised eight questions that cuts right at the heart of the introduction of the ambitious honours programme. AIDSO has likened BU’s decision to implement the scheme to the “hurried manner” in which the University of Delhi switched from three-year courses to four-year honours programmes last year. This move caused an uproar in Delhi as some academicians said stakeholders were not consulted beforehand.
Prof Gowda, however, pointed out that BU’s scheme is different from that of Delhi. “We must understand that we have introduced more flexibility for students without fundamentally changing anything. The University of Delhi scheme provides for major, minor and applied subjects in the third year, whereas we are retaining the existing three optional subjects”.
Expressing concern over the choice-based credits system, AIDSO state president V N Rajashekhar said the quest to acquire credits would jeopardise teaching, learning and cultivation of knowledge.
“The University Grants Commission asked universities to switch to a credits-based system and we are doing that now. A cumulative grade point average (CGPA) will be calculated by us while the student will also get his first/second class marks. This is a time when a community college concept is becoming popular, in which a student can resume studies to complete his unfinished degree,” Prof Gowda said.
The proposal on the honours programme is expected to be placed before the Academic Council next week.