BU waking up to demands of job market

The largest university in Karnataka intends to gradually replace the three-year degree courses with four-year “up-to-date, brand new” programmes capable of meeting the requirements of an ever-evolving and dynamic industry.

The four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) course introduced in the academic year 2010-11 was a step in that direction. Now, the university wants to start similar programmes in arts, commerce and management, and education streams as well.

Vice Chancellor N Prabhu Dev wishes to introduce the courses in the academic year 2011-12 but the road that lies ahead may be “tricky”. Informed sources say the prospectus for the four-year Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSS) and Bachelor of Studies in Commerce/Management (BSC/M) is ready. Other modalities have also been worked out. But devising the syllabus could be a heady exercise.

Although the BS programme was touted as an innovative and ground-breaking course, well-placed sources say “it’s not very different from the existing three-year degree in science”.

Poor in industry interaction

The course in science is poor in relevance to the industry. There’s nothing unique in it, except the duration. A crucial aspect, critics point out, is the lack of a proper study to assess the course’s feasibility. In short, the course fails to add value to a student’s academic arsenal.

But Janardhanam K, Dean, Faculty of Commerce and Management, says the course in management will not be just another programme in which students gain nothing except a four-year degree recognised by foreign universities.

“Every course should have three qualities – acceptability, adaptability, and
accountability. We’ll ensure that the proposed course in management is short on none of the three,” Janardhanam told Deccan Herald.

At present, BU does not offer an undergraduate programme in management at its campus – the Canara Bank School of Management Studies. The professor is keen on introducing a four-year UG course in management, rather than in commerce. For, compared to other degree courses, the existing BCom and BCom (Honours) programmes have been well received by students and the industry alike.

Dr Janardhanam says the course would focus heavily on web-based learning. Case studies and presentation would also be a part. Efforts would be made to keep the programme in tune with the industry.

“We’ll see to it that the course keeps pace with the ever-changing requirements. For this, we’ll introduce the sectoral concept instead of functional learning,” he explains. In sectoral learning, students will be exposed to individual disciplines such as retail management, IT-ITES, international business, healthcare management agro management, etc. The focus, the professor says, will be on familiarising the students with the work culture of the industry they will go to work in.

Doing away with PG

Rangaswamy N, Dean, Faculty of Arts, says students would be able to specialise in a chosen discipline in the fourth year of the BSS programme. Also, BSS graduates would not be required to pursue post-graduation. They would directly enrol for a Ph D.
Dr Rangaswamy brushes off the notion that the four-year course in science has not broken any new ground. In his view, the programme is capable of rekindling students’ interest in pure sciences. The course in arts, too, will be modelled on similar lines.

Work to prepare the syllabus is on

Dr Rangaswamy hopes to get the things done by July 15, 2011, his deadline. Thereafter, the Board of Studies concerned should approve the syllabus. It will then go to the related faculty. Thereafter, the Academic Council and the Syndicate will have to ratify it.

If everything goes as planned, a notification will be issued by July-end. Admission should start in August. At first, the courses will be available only at the university branch. Later, they would be introduced at the affiliated colleges.

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