Staff Reporter

Budget proposes first hike in degree course fee after 1978

Rs.88.32 lakh for student welfare measures

Rs.25-lakh accident insurance for students

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala University will offer 20 new courses and will institute four study centres in 2008-09, a year in which the university will be re-accredited by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The new courses include M.Phil. programmes in nano science and nano technology, theatrical arts, performing and visual arts and genetics and genomatics.

The university will set up an Ayyankali chair, an Information Studies Centre under the Department of Library and Information Science, an Aquarium Research Station, and an Institute of Communication and Information Technology which will focus on e-journalism, e-learning and media convergence.

The university would increase the fee for degree courses fixed in 1978.

These announcements were made in the University budget for 2008-09 presented here on Wednesday by the convener of the finance committee of the Syndicate, A.A. Rashid. The budget expects a non-plan income of Rs.130.39 crore and expenditure of Rs.139.83 crore, with a revenue deficit of Rs.9.44 crore.

An MSW programme will be started by the Department of Sociology, a PG diploma in geomatics will be offered at the Centre for Geo-Information Science and Technology and on in e-marketing and e-banking at the Department of Commerce. Certain M.Phil./PG diploma programmes will be offered with assistance from the UGC.

The budget has set apart Rs.88.32 lakh for student welfare measures. Rs.25 lakh have been set apart for providing accident insurance cover for students and Rs.10 lakh for providing scholarships for students from financially backward families.

Finishing school

The university will set up a finishing school to provide employment training for its students, and a competency training centre for students from the marginalised sections of society. The Institute of English, the departments of Russian and German and the centres for Australian studies, Canadian studies, English language studies and comparative literature would be reorganised and reconstituted into an Institute of English and Foreign Languages. The university’s observatory would be upgraded to a national centre for research in astronomy and astrophysics. Special projects would be implemented at the Oriental Research institute and Manuscripts Library on its centenary year, at the Population Research Centre on its golden jubilee year and at the Publications Division on its 70th year of operations.

Computerisation

Steps would be taken to computerise, in phases, all examination related activities and to digitise examination records. Insurance cover would be given to costly equipment in teaching departments and to the rare manuscripts in the manuscripts library. A comprehensive insurance scheme would be instituted for university employees.

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