GUWAHATI, May 31 � Authorities of both Gauhati University (GU) and Dibrugarh University (DU) are now ready to introduce semester system in degree level from the next academic session, beginning in coming July.
GU has around 300 colleges affiliated to it or permitted by it and all of them are running undergraduate courses and a few of them are running Post Graduate courses too. Majority of them, that is around 60 per cent, are running arts programmes.
On the other hand, DU has around 175 colleges affiliated or permitted by it. About 150 of them are running degree programmes in science, arts and commerce, while two of them are running engineering courses, with one running medical courses and eight running law courses. The DU colleges running professional courses have already introduced semester system.
It needs mention here that the University Grants Commission (UGC), through an action plan for academic and administrative reforms, dated March 30, 2009, asked the universities to consider and adopt semester system, choice-based credit system, curriculum development, admission procedures and examination reforms within a period of two years at the most linking them to grants.
GU started the initiative to implement the action plan since May 2009.Series of meetings, have been held with the colleges by this time to implement the action plan.
The curriculums of both the Universities are updated to meet the demand of the situation expected to arise in the event of introduction of the semester system. The admission procedures of both the Universities also agree with the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines. The admission procedures of the two Universities are computerized too. In the area of examination reforms, both the universities have introduced the spot evaluation system and taken initiatives to computerize this system.
The UGC has stated in its March 30, 2009 communication that the above measures would be linked with its grant according process as part of the Eleventh Plan strategy for improving the quality of higher education.
The Universities have also prepared the academic calendar and planned evaluation zones for quick and flawless evaluation of the students' competence.
GU has by this time introduced the semester system in undergraduate courses like the BBA, BCA, BE, MBBS etc. As per the directive of the Bar Council of India, semester system has been introduced in the around 16 law colleges affiliated to GU from the current academic session --- that is, 2010 -11.
The system is already in force in the GU-affiliated colleges running Post-Graduate courses for the past about eight to nine years, said the sources.
The Assam College Principals' Council (ACPC) has observed that the most positive point of the semester system is its enhancing the number of class days to 180 days or beyond. ACPC ex-president AC Talukdar told this newspaper that this would help improvement in the attendance percentage of the students.
Besides, academic monitoring will also improve with this system and the examination failure-related time loss by the students will be restricted to six months because of this system, he said.
Moreover, semester system is sure to produce many student-friendly developments gradually in the coming days, said Talukdar.
Assam College Teachers' Association (ACTA) president Naren Changmai said that his Association has accepted the semester system in both GU and DU on principle.
However, he said, the ACTA has demanded solution to the problems like preventing the fall in the students' enrollment number. Besides, there should be uniform academic calendars, timely declaration of the results, formation of the evaluation zones and the guidance and policies for internal assessment should be clear.
The ACTA also wants that the number of teaching and non-teaching staff should be adequate, the non-sanctioned posts should be regularized; curriculums should cope with vacations etc. and textbooks should be published in time, he said.
The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) has also accepted the semester system on principle, advisor of the students' body Samujjal Bhattacharayya said.
But he maintained that the AASU wants that the number of enrollment in the degree level should not be reduced on any plea. The other demands of the students' body are almost similar with those of the ACTA.