Special Correspondent

3 premier science academies involved

Bid to improve quality of students

MADURAI: Three premier science academies have come out with a ‘position paper’ on science teaching at the post-school level and the methods to rejuvenate the undergraduate and postgraduate science curriculum.

A copy of the joint document was circulated to Vice-Chancellors a few days ago for their opinion on the implementation of the recommendations, officials of the Higher Education Department told The Hindu here on Sunday.

The organisations involved in this exercise are the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, the Indian National Sciences Academy, New Delhi, and the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad. The officials said the position paper would be forwarded to the Centre after the suggestions of the Vice-Chancellors were elicited. The communication sent to the Vice-Chancellors said: “This document is a result of extensive discussions held by a science panel of the three academies since the mid-2007. An overriding need at present is to improve the quality and preparedness of our talented students to take up challenges and contribute to a knowledge-based world.” A vital aspect taken into consideration was the problems of quality and content and facilities related to science teaching at colleges and universities.

The officials said the academies had come out with two important recommendations to improve the content and quality of the existing pattern of the three-year undergraduate courses followed by the two-year postgraduate courses, and focus on a four-year Bachelor of Science programmes that will take students directly to Ph.D. programmes, thus leading them to research careers.

“If Vice-Chancellors and other stakeholders accept the paper, the details of the implementation will have to be worked out,” the academies said.