Declining response and lack of infrastructure cited as reasons

After being jostled from one campus to another, Bangalore University’s flagship programme, the four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) course, has now been officially given a burial. The course, which has admitted three batches of students since its introduction, is being “suspended” for the academic year 2013-14 in view of declining student response and lack of infrastructure and faculty.

Confirming this, Vice-Chancellor B. Thimme Gowda told The Hindu on Thursday that no admissions would be made to the course this year. “The course was started without giving any thought to infrastructure and faculty requirements,” he said.

Temporary?

However, he maintained that the course was only being temporarily suspended, and would be reintroduced in the academic year 2014-15 in a restructured form in affiliated colleges. This, he said, would be done simultaneously with the university’s other big plan — the introduction of “choice-based” four-year courses to replace the existing three-year undergraduate courses.

“We are planning to introduce the four-year undergraduate courses in all affiliated colleges from 2014. Discussions on this are under way. So the BS course will be restructured to replace the existing B.Sc. course. As what we offer will have an exit option in the fourth year (after three years), we may accommodate students on the university campus in the fourth year. We don’t really have the infrastructure to admit students for the course for the first three years,” Prof. Gowda said.

He also said that the University of Delhi’s experiment with four-year courses, which begins this academic year, will be keenly watched before they are introduced in Bangalore University.

Downward spiral

The university’s BS course shot to fame as it was the only university offering such a programme other than the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.).

It was credited with renewing interest in basic sciences and was open to class 12 students with 50 per cent aggregate in the board exams.

However, the course started running into rough weather when it was discovered that it was being run out of the university guesthouse. Guest faculty were running the show, and though it was eventually shifted to the Central College campus from the Jnanabharathi campus “for better management”, students still had no exclusive access to laboratory facilities, among other things.