Kozhikode: An order of the University of Calicut, conceding the demand of nursing students to abolish the system that makes a pass in the first-year BSc examination compulsory for taking examinations in the following years of the course, has sparked criticism and protests. The criticism has come from a section of the university's board of studies for under graduate nursing course.
UG board chairperson V.J. Mariakutty has said the university order runs counter to the norms laid down by the Indian Nursing Council and might lead even to the withdrawal of recognition of the university's nursing course.
She alleged that the university authorities took the decision without the approval of the board of studies and it was taken only to placate BSc nursing students who had staged protests on October 5 to press for abolition of the `year-out' norm which made a pass in first year exam compulsory.
The students' contention was that this norm should be waived since it would lead to students failing in first year exam spending more years to complete the course and that it would, in turn, involve more expenditure for the students to complete the course.
The board members dismissed this argument saying a pass in first-year exam was a must if the standard of the course was to be maintained at a desirable level. Other universities were following this norm. The board's members have also expressed concern at the reported assurance of university authorities to the agitating students that the proposed introduction of a one-year internship programme after BSc course would be shelved.
The proposed internship programme is to replace the stipulation that students seeking admission to post - graduate nursing course should have at least two years of work experience after passing graduate-level course. "How could the university give an assurance that internship programme would not be implemented when the proposal for such a programme was under the active consideration of the Government," the Board members critical of the university's decision asked.
V.P. Gita Kumari, K.P. Zeenat, L. Nirmala, Dr. Asuma Beevi and C. Vilasini, all members of the board, also voiced their protest against the university's order.