In what may be perceived to be the last episode of formally closing the infamous BTech chapter,the National Defence Academy (NDA) is teaching old syllabus to the cadets of 127th and 128th courses in addition to their present academic subjects. The latest training programme,a copy of which is with Newsline,has included old syllabi (OS) of maths,physics,chemistry and computer science in the current academic time table. This is being done to teach old subjects to cadets who were taught BTech subjects till last September and thus missed out on the subjects under the old syllabi.
The BTech course was hastily called off in September. NDA has been traditionally offering BSc and BA degrees to cadets in affiliation with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). After the introduction of BTech course in January 2012,the newly inducted BSc cadets were made to study subjects of BTech and BA continued unaffected. Cadets of 127th course,who joined the academy in January 2012,thus studied BTech subjects for about a year,while the 128th course,that joined in June 2012,studied the subjects for one semester.
Further,though the BTech programme was called off in September,NDA continued to teach BTech subjects to 127th,128th courses and even the latest 129th course cadets who joined in January 2013 under the name BSc (Honours). This March,BSc (Honours) too was suddenly called off and cadets of these courses were told to learn and appear for examinations for subjects from the old syllabus which they had never studied. At this point,many cadets in fact requested for change of stream since it put additional burden on them. Questions also arose as to what subject names would appear on the final mark sheets of these cadets when they pass out,given that the BTech course was never approved by JNU or University of Pune (with which it was originally conceived) and yet implemented by the NDA on its own.
NDAs present move to simultaneously teach old subjects to the cadets is also likely to put additional pressure on these two courses,which have already experienced experimentation last year. Asked whether NDA would be carrying out examinations for these subjects and whether methods are adopted so as to reduce the burden on these cadets while teaching these subjects,NDA denied that BTech was ever introduced.
At no point was the BTech programme introduced at NDA. However,efforts were put in to implement BE programme specific to NDA with 127th course. The changes were introduced in the course content at basic levels of giving exposure of not more than 10 to 15 per cent of the total periods per subject,which was intended to be progressively increased in content and periods. But before that could happen,the said programme was shelved and the classes re-appropriated. Cadets were tested and brought on par with the approved syllabus, a reply from the NDA said.