Soon, there will be uniform regulations for varsity admissions in Karnataka.
Students seeking admission to various undergraduate and post-graduate courses from the next academic year can heave a sigh of relief as uniform regulations for admission to universities across the State and a common academic calendar are on anvil.
These two issues were top on the agenda of the first meeting of the Karnataka State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) held recently after the KSHEC Act came into force in July this year.
Karnataka is the third State in the country to establish an autonomous State Higher Education Council as a collective of the Government, Universities, academics and experts.
The Council has the task of forging a synergic relationship among them by occupying an operational space in between the Government and Universities and between Universities and apex level regulatory bodies.
Though the need for having a common academic year for universities with similar academic programmes was being discussed for years, it is taking shape only now with the Council putting it on the top of its list of priorities.
At present each university frames its own academic calendar with regard to dates of commencement and closure of admissions, examinations, announcement of results, vacation period etc. As a result the academic calendar of universities vastly differ from each other, creating problems for students seeking admission or migration from one university to another.
The Council's recent meeting unanimously agreed to evolve a common calendar by the next academic year for at least some common courses offered in all universities.
The Council also decided to evolve uniform regulations for admission and migration of students in all the universities.
Minister for Higher Education V.S. Acharya pointed out that universities have different admission policies for similar courses offered. For example, the minimum marks in the qualifying examination for admission to certain courses differ between universities. Some universities have made written tests compulsory for admission to a particular course and the marks obtained in the written test is considered along with the marks secured in the qualifying examination for admissions. In some others the admission for a course is based only on the marks obtained in the qualifying exam.
Executive Director of the Council K.M. Kaveriyappa also pointed out that there is a vast difference in awarding ranks and giving grace marks. “Students often complain about these differences and argue with the universities, which prescribe higher eligibility criteria or stricter regulations, that they were at a disadvantage when they have to compete with those admitted to the universities having lesser eligibility criteria,” pointed out Prof. Kaveriyappa while making it clear that the Council will not interfere with the power of universities to make regulations but will only ensure that general regulations have uniformity and are student-friendly.
Suresh, a lecturer, said that “evolving uniform regulations and making it available for the students through the website is crucial as at present the students have no access to regulations of any university.”
“Adopting a single method for selection in all the universities is crucial and will remove confusion among the students besides placing all students opting for a particular type of course on the same platform,” says Pushpalatha, a reader in a private college.
Now a committee headed by a vice-chancellor and having representation of a faculty member from each university will study the regulations of all the universities and prepare a uniform regulation. “Both the common academic calendar and uniform regulations for admission and migrations are expected to be effective from the next academic year,” said Prof. Kaveriyappa.