In the near future, an engineering student in Gujarat can take up music or a commerce graduate can opt for an elective in agriculture. This is the kind of academic mobility being worked out by the Gujarat government, through a “multi-varsity” system that is likely to be introduced from the new academic session beginning July. Initially, 13 institutes, including Gujarat Technological University, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad University, Nirma University, CEPT University, City Pulse Institute of Film & Television, National Institute of Design, PDPU and Rai University have shown the willingness to participate in the initiative and offer courses.
“In the last meeting of all vice-chancellors(VC’s) of various varsities held on May 9 in Ahmedabad, this system was discussed and a final draft has been drawn up and circulated among them. This will pave the way for choice-based electives for students, whereby an engineering student can take up music or a commerce graduate can do an elective on agriculture if he so wishes. This can be done by either taking online courses or by attending required number of classes in one semester to complete the course,” a state government official said.
A separate entity under the Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat (KCG), established by the Department of Education, has been formed to look into the system and its implementation. For starters, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), Gandhinagar, is looking forward to offer online electives on “Petroleum” and “Solar Energy” for a total of two credits for students from different varsities consisting of 30 hours each. “However the success of the initiative depends on more universities opening up courses, which is yet to happen,” said P K Banik, Director General of PDPU.
“The content of the course should also look at employability quotient of the student and will have to fulfil a 13-point mandate by the participating institute regarding the course it plans to offer. Post scrutiny by the committee, the institute is free to offer it and course will be reviewed periodically after every semester. Institutes can have weekend courses or finish it in a semester,” a source said.