B. Hridayakumari likely to chair panel on semester system

The unification of syllabi in all universities offering the choice-based credit and semester (CBCS) degree courses, and a common pattern for the grading system and question papers are among the topics on which the Kerala State Higher Education Council has sought recommendations from the committee set up by it for studying the CBCS system.

The other areas on which the council has requested recommendations from the committee, which is expected to be chaired by veteran academic B. Hridayakumari, include a common name for the semester system in all universities and uniform distribution of marks for internal evaluation and external examinations.

Letter to academic

These ‘terms of reference' have been made in a letter written by council vice-chairman T.P. Sreenivasan to Prof. Hridayakumari. The letter says that these are some of the points on which the committee may make recommendations. The letter also requests the academic to chair the committee. The council has also suggested a three-month deadline for the committee to submit its report.

Significantly, the letter is also reported to make it clear that the council wants the CBCS to continue and that it only wants certain anomalies to be rectified. These include the inadequate number of working days in the first semester, problems with the scale of grading, and anomalies in the syllabi for various courses.

The “uniformity” question may, however, prove to a hot potato for the committee; an issue which has in the past evoked images of a council seeking to do away with the distinctive academic personalities of individual universities.

Moreover, the academic bodies of the universities have been consistently fierce in opposing real or perceived restrictions on their rights on academic issues.

On the other hand, recommendations for a uniform pattern of examinations and uniformity in the award of grades — there already is certain level of commonality — may be welcomed by all the universities.