GUWAHATI, March 20 � In a major development in science education and research, the four-year BS (Bachelor of Science) degree course has been included as an �educational eligibility criteria� for taking National Eligibility Test (NET) for JRF conducted by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Govt of India. This augurs well for students pursuing the particular course in Assam where the scope of science education is gradually expanding.
The CSIR has revised the eligibility criteria for the National Eligibility Test, conducted for Junior Research Fellowship, through a notification on March 19. It is to be noted that the Gauhati University has for the first time in India started the four-year BS programmes in Physical Science, Chemical Science and Mathematical Science in 2009 and the first batch will complete their studies in 2013.
The first batch, after completing their three years of studies in June, 2012, will be eligible for appearing in the CSIR NET examination according to the new revised notification of CSIR. Till now only candidates with MSc degrees in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics could appear in the NET. The new and revised criteria will now create new opportunities for BS students for availing of the JRF and research career just after their four-year BS programme.
The Gauhati University�s BS programme has been designed parallel to the four-year BTech programmes and the BS and BTech programme curricula have been �developed with a holistic approach of integrating Science, Technology, Humanities, and Management courses to create human resources required for current jobs, an official release stated.
Following Gauhati University�s efforts, many more institutions around the nation like Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore have started offering four-year BS programmes in Basic Science disciplines. With the four-year BS programme, the students in different Science disciplines are given the opportunity for graduating in line with the BE/BTech programmes. And with the inclusion of the BS qualification in CSIR NET, now BS-passed students will be eligible to avail of the JRF.
The Gauhati University admits 10 students every year in each of the three disciplines of Physical, Chemical and Mathematical Sciences. These courses are being run at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST-GU) established in 2009. The IST-GU also offers BTech and MTech programmes in different technological disciplines.
The University has plans to expand the BS programmes in other emerging disciplines and also increase the capacity with the financial help and patronage of the State Government. The CSIR�s notification has brought new hopes to Basic Science education.