Just today, I read in ToI that UGC has mandated the introduction of grading and semester system from 2015-16 in 400 Universities across the country.
UGC has directed universities to introduce the choice-based credit system (CBCS) and credit framework for skill development (CFSD).
Under CBCS, students will have three course types to pursue: foundation, elective and core.
University of Hyderabad (UoH) is one of the select Indian Universities that has been working under the same system for many years, and so can be considered a front-runner and a role model for others to follow. It follows a semester system, and CBCS as well as dishing out foundation, core and elective courses on a platter for students. Reading this news today, I feel prouder to be a part of the University fraternity. The environment is cooperative, full of respect and freedom, and student-centric.
As it is, UoH may even be better as a role model in implementing contemporary education at a still higher level. The key-word here is ‘contemporary’. We have amidst us a very special programme, College of Integrated Studies (erstwhile Center of Integrated Studies, CIS). Started under the visionary and understanding leadership of the then Vice-Chancellor, Padma Shri Prof. Seyed E. Hasnain in 2006, this programme is of tremendous importance in furthering the research-based education in view of changing global requirements. Three days before, in a meeting held by CIS Director, Prof. B.P. Sanjay, our erudite Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, had mentioned that we are in a unique and envious position implementing the integrated program across streams. While taking my UGC Orientation course in which faculty from all streams had attended, I too had noticed that while Science stream is rigorous, the Social science stream had threads running parallel to the Science stream and that somewhere along the way, these two streams merged together. Consider introducing courses connecting these two. A new generation of human beings with an integrated peaceful consciousness will emerge, that is a given fact among humans at a higher level of vibration.
(Picture taken from URL: http://cis.uohyd.ac.in/aboutCIS.php)
The students selected at CIS have tremendous benefits to be able to learn sitting and living amongst expert research community and vibrant research environment that they really need. Further even as UGC has provided new directions as mentioned above, the students are already being exposed to foundation, elective and core courses. The programme is open to undergraduates after passing class 12th and selected from KVPY, Science Olympiad, IIT-JEE main list qualified candidates and first rank holders of different state/central boards as well as entrance examination for Science and Social Sciences schools.
For now, I am teaching a core course: Structure and Function of Macromolecules to Integrated M.Sc students, and have been writing how during the first two days at the start of the course, I let the students interact and teach each other the connectivity of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Earth Sciences in a seamless manner, so they really understand the integrated nature of sciences. They were good in their basics and all of us clapped and cheered them along as they fumbled, got their facts straight, and also let their imaginations run astray.