Calcutta University has decided to introduce courses integrating the bachelors and masters degrees from the next academic year.
With this decision, CU will turn a new leaf in history. Students opting for the integrated courses can study in the university for five years and earn a masters degree along with graduation. Admission to these courses will, however, be restricted only to meritorious students who will have to qualify for the course through an entrance examination.
“Both the University Grants Commission (UGC) and ministry of human resources and development are encouraging such integrated courses across the country. Several other universities are thinking of introducing them since it is the need of the hour. We too want to join the league,” said vice-chancellor of CU, Suranjan Das.
He added: “Sometimes the bachelors and masters syllabi overlap. Moreover, there is a difference in the quality of students from various colleges pursuing postgraduate courses. I have requested the heads of departments to ascertain their infrastructure and let me know if they can start the integrated course. Initially, only a few seats will be offered. In this way, we can get bright students to enroll for the courses right after higher secondary examinations.” There will, however, be no seat crunch in the regular postgraduate courses.
The VC also said that Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will not be able to make it to the Calcutta University convocation. “We have received a letter that conveys that she will not be able to make it due to her busy schedule. She has accepted our invitation. We will hold a special convocation and confer her a DLit as and when she decides to come to the city at her convenience. The university has already received the new act. The senate and syndicate will soon be formed in accordance with it. The names of DLit and DSc recipients will now be decided by the syndicate and then approved by the chancellor,” Das said.
The vice-chancellor of Oxford University will visit Calcutta University on March 24. “Andrew Hamilton will visit CU and we will discuss projects which the two universities can undertake jointly. We may also sign a memorandum of understanding,” Das added.
In the field of research, too, CU and Oxford University are set to attain new highs. The British Council has given a grant of more than £12,000 and the two universities will jointly take up a research project on the means and methods to increase collaboration between higher education institutes and industry.
Welcome Trust of Britain has also sanctioned a Rs 70 lakh grant for the history department. A joint research on the history of medicine will soon commence.
The UGC has also decided to set up a centre of excellence in CU on Electro Physiology and Neuro Imaging Studies. “The university will receive a grant of Rs 6.15 crore from UGC,” Das said. Apart from these, CU has already received three more grants.
From 2013, a supplementary exam will be held every January to enable CU undergraduate students clear the papers they fail in. This has been done as it was noticed that Part III students suffer under the existing system. Some cannot take admissions in postgraduate courses as Part III results are declared much ahead and admissions take place.
But, they can only clear the back papers of Part II much later. The problem will now be solved. This year, however, the supplementary exam is to be held in May.