Bangalore University (BU) has bowed to requests from colleges regarding its ambitious four-year undergraduate (UG) courses and the choice-based credit system (CBCS). Based on suggestions and recommendations that came out of a meeting of BU officials with principals and senior professors from nearly 350 colleges here on Monday, BU has agreed to make some modifications to the credit system.
The main features of the CBCS, applicable to both UG and postgraduate (PG) courses in all faculties, are: subjects are quantified in terms of credits (BU plans to use percentage and Cumulative Grade Point Average simultaneously); extra-curricular activities fetch credits; and it includes foundation, core and skill development courses. BU’s restructured four-year programme also offers exit options at the end of the second and third year.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, BU Vice-Chancellor (VC) B. Thimme Gowda said the principals raised certain “practical problems” about the implementation of the system. Maintaining that the system would be implemented from the present academic year, he defended the four-year honours programme saying it was different from the one offered by Delhi University, which is faced with uncertainty and opposition.
“Our four-year UG course does not disturb the equilibrium of the existing course, but makes value additions to it,” he explained.
Prof. Gowda said the principals conveyed their fear about three issues: the two-year exit option, distribution of workload for cross-discipline combinations, and the carryover system.
“We assured them that the exit option available at the end of the second year (to get an associate degree and come back within the next five years to complete the degree) will be exercised only by those who have to quit due to unavoidable circumstances. We will ask the government’s opinion on cross-discipline combinations before implementing it. As of now, there are nearly 60 workable combinations. Aided colleges were worried that a course may become unaided if cross-discipline combinations are allowed. So this year we will stick to existing ones,” he explained.
The VC also said BU has scrapped a proposal making it mandatory to pass the first semester to take the fifth semester exam; and compulsorily clearing first and second semester papers to take the sixth semester exam. In addition, the minimum number of credits required were being relaxed.
He also said permission to start the fourth year honours course will be given to colleges eventually, though as of now students who opt to pursue it will have to study for two semesters in postgraduate colleges.