For the first time, the state government is introducing a common syllabus for students in the first, second and third semesters of arts, commerce and science subjects in all the 11 state-run universities from the next academic year commencing in June this year.
This will also include drastic changes in the examination pattern which was primarily based on mugging the texts and answering the questions in written form during annual or semester examinations.
According to state government officials, private universities which are 43 in number in the state, can also follow the new syllabus if they wish so.
According to Education Department officials, the idea behind introducing a common syllabus and changing examination pattern is to improve the standard of higher education and ensure easy transportability of students from one place to another in case they have to shift their place of residences owing to some emergencies like transfer of parents etc.
Former vice-chancellor of Gujarat University A U Patel, who is currently advisor to the state government on higher education and also supervising the preparation of a common syllabi for all the universities in the state, told The Indian Express that the syllabi of Semester I, II and III were complete and sent to vice-chancellors of 11 state-run universities. He said that all of them had agreed to introduce it from June this year.
Regarding syllabi of the remaining semesters, he said that the work on them was in progress and would be complete within the next few months.
Patel said that the new syllabus, called “model standard syllabi”, had been prepared by comparing it with the syllabi of national and international universities.
“The new syllabus underwent vetting system before being approved for introducing it,” said Patel.
So far, all the universities in the state are having their own syllabi which differs much from other universities. This prevented students from moving from one university to the other during middle of the academic year or semester.
“Now the students can move from one university to another even during mid-semester or any time because of common syllabus of all the universities,” Patel added.
With introduction of new syllabi, the examination system would also undergo drastic changes. According to Patel, out of 100 marks for question papers in a subject, examinations for 30 marks are for internal examinations conducted by the respective colleges under the existing system and 70 marks for university examinations. This will be reversed, with 70 marks for internal examinations and 30 for university examinations.
According to Patel, radical changes will also be introduced in patterns for internal examination. While the evaluation is currently done on the basis of written examinations, the new examination will focus more on interactive and demonstrative ability of students. The students would be subjected to group discussions and interactive sessions on their subjects of study in presence of their teachers and they would be awarded marks on the basis of their performances in these session which would be a continuous exercise in colleges for examining the students. As for examinations for 30 marks, it will be written type as usual.
The syllabus offers new subjects to undergraduate students under the choice based credit system with a view to making students employable immediately after completion of their courses. According to Patel, it allows even arts and commerce students to do a course in physiotherapy etc. from a government or university recognised institute and credits obtained in that subject would be mentioned in their marks-cards. The students can do these courses during their spare time while studying their undergraduate courses at the same time.