Proposals need to be examined by a committee, says Kerala University
Add-on courses mooted by departments of Philosophy, GeologyInitial funding provided by UGC
Thiruvananthapuram: After a delay of many months, the University of Kerala is preparing to submit to the UGC two proposals for introducing postgraduate add-on courses in the University's teaching departments.
This is for the first time that teaching departments of the University have come up with the idea of offering add-on courses at the postgraduate level.
While the department of Geology has drawn up a scheme to introduce an Advanced Diploma Course Geomatics, the department of Philosophy has mooted PG diploma courses in a variety of subjects including `Yoga Philosophy and Practice,' `Ethics of Science and Technology' and `Consciousness Studies.'
The department of Philosophy had given its proposal in April and the department of Geology in August.
There was but no initiative on the part of the University all these months to forward the same to the UGC for funds.
The official explanation of the University is that such proposals need to be examined by a committee, headed by the pro-vice chancellor, in which members of the syndicate need to participate. "We did not have a syndicate for a long time. Now the committee plans a sitting on November 27 to assess these proposals. But I am not sure whether the UGC would allow add-on courses in PG departments. So far such courses have been sanctioned at the graduate level in affiliated colleges," a senior University official associated with processing these proposals said here.
The head of the department of Philosophy D. Nesy told The Hindu that many postgraduate departments in universities outside the State offered add-on courses initially funded by the University. "In fact I got the idea to propose add-on courses after noticing that universities in Tamil Nadu run add-on courses in PG departments," she explained.
Dr. Nesy also pointed out that though the UGC would only fund such courses for the first two years or so they can be continued on a self-financing mode thus avoiding any financial burden on the University of Kerala.
The department of Geology's proposal speaks of three courses: certificate programmes in `Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing,' `Photogrammetry' and `Geographic Information System.'
According to the proposal document, a candidate who takes any two certificate courses will get a diploma and one who takes all three courses will receive an advanced diploma.
According to department head V. Prasanna Kumar, urban planners, resource managers and application scientists increasingly depend on the availability of well-structured up-to-date GIS data for their work.
Ariel photographs, satellite images along with modern techniques such as laser altimetry and GIS are today indispensable tools to manage land use and the earth's resources, he said.
For this various organisations need to be staffed by personnel qualified to extract and present such data, he added.
Even if the University forwards these proposals to the UGC immediately it is not clear whether these courses will be approved for the tenth plan period that is coming to an end shortly.