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UGC plans big changes in education
Basant Kumar Mohanty in New Delhi
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December 28, 2008
Now students may be able to pursue courses in segments in universities as per their preferences if the recommendations of a UGC committee on academic reforms are accepted by the institutions.

A committee, set up by the University Grants Commission, has suggested a slew of reforms, including credit accumulation and transfer, semester system and taking feedback about teachers' performance from the students.

The recommendation on credit accumulation and transfer will help students to pursue courses in segments in universities as per their choice.

"The committee has recommended a number of academic and administrative reforms to be followed by the universities. We are now examining these suggestions," UGC Chairman Professor Sukhadeo Thorat told PTI.

The committee has suggested the universities to start credit accumulation and transfer system. It recommended that each academic programme should have certain credits, and the student can complete part of the programme in a specific university and accumulate certain credits from there. The rest of the course can be pursued from another university to complete the course.

"This will facilitate students mobility at national and international level also. For this, the institutions should have credit transfer system and agreement for students' exchange," Thorat said.

As per the system, a student can also do a course in parts in various departments within an institute.

If the credit system is introduced, marks will be changed to grade and students will be awarded grades like A, B, C and D depending on their performance.

The recommendations have come at a time when the UGC is planning to launch a scheme to facilitate M Phil and PhD students to do part of their coursework outside the university where they are pursuing studies.

Besides, the committee suggested that universities should introduce semester system instead of annual examinations. Currently, the central universities in the country including Delhi [Images] University and Jawaharlal Nehru University have semester system.

The committee is of the view that the institutions should not focus more on written tests but on continuous assessment.

The committee also suggested the institutions to take feedback from students about the performance of teachers. Students are the best judge to assess teachers, it said.

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