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After having introduced the choice based credit system (CBCS) for undergraduate courses the University Grants Commission (UGC) is now asking all the universities to have 70 uniformity in the curriculum for undergraduate courses. On December 22, 2015, the UGC issued a circular to all the state, central and deemed universities. In the circular the UGC stated,” The CBCS which is already in existence should be adopted by all the universities. It is hoped that even this suggestion by us to have 70% uniformity be implemented as this would ensure seamless mobility of students as well as transfer and mutual recognition of credits across the higher education institutions in the country.”
This move implies that while the 70% curriculum of the undergraduate courses would be framed by the UGC, the remaining 30% can be framed by the university. To cite an example, the BA English students have writing skills as a subject that includes documenting, report writing, making notes and letter writing prescribed by UGC. In this subject the university can have technical writing instead of letter writing. This direction by the UGC has been received with mixed response from different universities.
According to the former registrar of Manipal University and present director of Manipal Institute of Technology Mr. G K Prabhu the decision by the UGC is actually contradictory as the CBSC flexibility is quite inherent in the CBSC system and the institutes and universities should have their own senates and should be allowed to frame their own curriculum. He said,” I think what the UGC is doing is not right.”
However in many academic quarters the decision of the UGC has been welcomed quite enthusiastically. The registrar of Bangalore University Mr K N Ninge Gowda has appreciated this step and said that having 70% uniformity would enhance the quality of education and bring more parity among the students of different institutions and universities. In order to facilitate the universities to implement CBCS the UGC has brought out a detailed syllabi that would act like a template for 107 UG courses and that too in consultation with various stakeholders.
“Presently, there is around 80% uniformity in different programmes among institutions. But we look forward to following the curriculum of top institutes like IITs and to have a curriculum better than our competitors. The UGC might have done this to facilitate transfer of students from one institute to another,” said Jawahar Doreswamy, pro-chancellor of PES University.
Vice-chancellor of Reva University Mr. V J Talawar said that a good number of curriculum model franed by the UGC is quite relevant. He further added,” But it must be modified every two or three years so that it does not become outdated.”