The Bangalore University’s (BU) ambitious proposal to offer four-year undergraduate degree courses from the coming academic year may undergo a few modifications before implementation.

During the second round of meeting BU officials had with principals of affiliated colleges recently, the principals are said to have sought a few modifications in the proposal.

The main modification was in the number of optional subjects the third year or fifth semester students will be studying.

B.S. Srikanta, president, Bangalore University First Grade College Principals’ Association, and principal, RBANM’s First Grade College, said principals of nearly 200 colleges had participated in the meeting. An important point that was discussed was the workload of teachers. To achieve a balance, the principals have asked for the number of optionals in the third year (fifth and sixth semsters) to remain three, instead of two as proposed by the BU.

“The proposal to introduce four-year courses is very good, especially from the point of view of those who are planning to study abroad or during recruitment. But we have asked for the number of optional subjects to be three. The BU’s proposal is to reduce this to two while the other two papers will be a foundation course and a skill-based course. We have asked the proposal to be tweaked to three optionals and one skill-based paper,” Prof. Srikanta said.

Proposal

The BU’s proposal is to introduce a four-year course from 2014-15 with an exit option in the third year. Those who wish to continue will specialise in a particular subject and earn an ‘honours’ degree. Those who finish the fourth year will be eligible to complete post graduation in one year instead of two. Students will be offered ‘choice-based credits’ for the first time and the combinations are set to go flexible i.e., they will be able to combine, for instance, physics, maths and history. The final degree will be given based on which stream two of the three optionals belong to.

The tentative list of 19 foundation and skill development courses include: food security and agriculture; governance and citizenship; music and fine arts; foreign languages; information technology; history, culture and civilization. For the first time, credits will be given for participation in cultural activities, NCC, NSS and sports in the third semester.

The BU has offered a four-year B.S. degree in the past, which was briefly suspended due to want of students, infrastructure and faculty.

Vice-Chancellor B. Thimme Gowda said the proposal will be put forth before the academic council at its meeting on March 19 along with the modifications for the council’s approval.

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