University budget runs a deficit of Rs.14.93 crore

Integrated M.Phil-Ph.D.courses, an online system for revaluation of answer scripts, a student services portal and an online question bank are among the major initiatives announced in the annual budget of the University of Kerala for the year 2013-14.

The budget, with an accent on e-governance and process automation initiatives, runs a deficit of Rs.14.93 crore. It was presented here on Wednesday by Syndicate member and convener of the finance committee Jyothikumar Chamakkala.

The university would institute post PG diploma courses in Financial Management, Educational Management, and Environmental Management in 2013-14. M.Phil. progammes in Material Chemistry and Women’s Studies would be set up in the departments of Chemistry, Aquatic Biology, Botany, and at the Centre for Women’s Studies, respectively.

A six-month certificate course in Research Methods in Social Sciences would be started at the Survey Research Centre under the Department of Political Science. A certificate programme in Lexicography would also be instituted, Mr. Chamakkala said.

A diploma course in functional Malayalam would be jointly offered by the Departments of Malayalam and Arabic for citizens of the Arab countries. This one-year programme would be offered from the next academic year and the syllabus would be prepared by the Dean of the oriental faculty.

With a view to ensuring the participation of students in projects, consultancy work, internships, and placement, the university would institute ‘Centre for University-Industry Interface.’ In order to provide a forum for academic inquiry into the life and culture of migrant labourers in Kerala, a Centre for Bengali and Gujarati Studies would be set up.

Credit transfer facility with foreign universities would be facilitated as part of firming up the functioning of the Centre for International Academics.

For all these academic activities, the budget has set aside Rs.70 lakh. It has allocated Rs.25 lakh for an online revaluation system of answer scripts. The Kerala University Computer Centre (KUCC) would get Rs.50 lakh for developing software for academic and administrative purposes.

Online initiatives

Mr. Chamakkala announced the institution of a Student Services Portal which would, among other things, handle online processes relating to certificates of matriculation, migration, and eligibility. The portal would also be put to use in furthering the functioning of the Student Disciplinary Committee.

All operations of the credit and semester system would be computerised and the CSS manual would be revised. Under the new ‘See Your papers’ initiative, students would able to see their evaluated answer sheets online, for a fee. The KUCC would develop the software for this portal.

This year, the university would reach the question papers for some more examinations online to various centres. All entrance examinations conducted by the university would switch to an online mode in a year’s time. The varsity would also put in place an online question bank for each subject. All stakeholders would be able to upgrade this bank by uploading questions. The budget has set aside Rs.1 crore for making one classroom in each of the 42 departments, a ‘smart classroom.’