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The choice-based credit system of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) is set to undergo a major overhaul soon, especially for students enrolled in Science courses. According to the university’s plan, students would need fewer credits to earn their degrees. A five-member committee headed by Dr Saroj Ghaskadbi, professor of molecular biology at the department of zoology, has been appointed to study the credit system at SPPU, compare it with systems at other universities and come up with suggestions.
N S Umrani, pro vice-chancellor of SPPU, said that the decision was taken at a recent meeting of the academic council. The meeting was about the University Grants Commission (UGC)’s latest directive to universities, asking them to complusorily offer students five short courses, each of two credits.
“The two-credit courses are for five subjects, which students have to take compulsorily, like human rights and cyber security. Now, in our Science faculty, students already have to earn 100 credits for their degree. If we add these five courses, then it means a student has to get 110 credits, which becomes too much for them. Even now, students get no time for learning or going into a subject in depth. This does not leave much time for teachers either. Students of social sciences or commerce have to earn 64 credits, so it may not be so problematic for them,” said Ghaskadbi.
The academician added that when SPPU’s existing credit-based system is compared with other leading universities such as Jawarharlal Nehru University, Banaras Hindu University or Delhi University, it is seen that SPPU’s criteria for credits is far higher than other universities.
“At most universities, the maximum credits a student has to earn is around 80. It differs from one university to another, somewhere it is 72, somewhere it is 76, but nowhere is it more than 80. Hence, it was thought that we need to revise the existing system. Our committee has the task of studying the choice-based credit system (CBCS) in SPPU and other universities and suggest what changes can be brought in. Also, while we may have the CBCS in principle, in practice, students are unable to seamlessly take courses across different faculties. That’s because we have 52 departments that work on their set timetables and it may not be possible to re-shuffle timings to suit all. So we will also be looking at ways to suggest reasonable changes in the timetable,” she added.
However, SPPU officials said the main job entrusted to the committee is to see how the total credits to be earned can be brought down. “The committee has been asked to see how best we can create an ecosystem that makes it easier for students while also maintaining quality in instruction and evaluation. We are still gathering information on other universities,” said Umrani.