Centre envisages semester system for all universities

Objective is to bring them at par with US schools to enable tie-ups

Seeking to bring state universities on board, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has decided to convene a meeting of vice-chancellors to sensitise them about semester system and encourage them to adopt it in their respective institutions.

“There is a need to move towards semester system. This will allow mobility and ensure continuous evaluation of students. Traditional administrative structure needs to be dismantled. The implementation of a new system needs dialogue since universities are autonomous bodies. They need to be persuaded,” a top ministry official told Deccan Herald, adding that the meeting was likely to be held here next month.

The HRD Ministry has been pushing hard to get semester system introduced in all the universities since a long time on the premise that it will boost the quality of higher education.

The amended Central University Act of 2009, made it mandatory for all 16 central universities established under the law to adopt semester system.

VCs give it a push

The idea of having semester system in universities got a fresh thrust after the central university vice chancellors gave it a strong push earlier this year. “Semester system (or two-part academic year) should be implemented across all central and state universities without any further delay,” they recommended.

They also recommended restructuring of academic programmes, continuous internal evaluation and assessment and introduction of credit system, among other things, which are being examined by a committee set up by the HRD ministry.

The concept of semester system is not new to educational institutions in the country. It has been working well in technical institutes and various central universities, including Jawaharlal Nehru University. Delhi University recently adopted the semester system after facing two years of opposition from the students and faculty.

The move assumes significance as India is in the process of collaborating with the United States in the education sector. A first-ever Indo-US education summit was also held in US recently.

“We want to have joint degree programmes with US universities. This is possible only when our education system is compatible with US varsity education. We need to introduce semester system as in most US universities,” the official said.

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