With the introduction of the semester system for Panjab University’s undergraduate courses, colleges affiliated to the university in Punjab and Chandigarh will now conduct classes for 214 days a year.
Under the previous system, with examinations alone running up to 50 days — besides a 1.5 months summer break, a week’s Diwali break and a week’s winter break in January — PU and its colleges were barely able to complete the University Grant Commission’s mandate of 180 working days.
Controller of examinations (CoE) Parvinder Singh said PU will now conduct examinations in 13 working days in each semester.
“With the annual course now divided into two parts and with more academic days under the semester system, the pass rate in examinations will also improve,” he said.
From this academic session, PU and its 188 affiliated colleges, including PU’s department of distant learning programme, will follow the semester system for its undergraduate courses.
SUBJECT COMBINATIONS REDUCED
Meanwhile, from this academic session, PU has restructured subject combinations offered by the university according to the new semester system. Subject combinations have now been brought down from 565 to 375 to make them compatible with the new system, said officials.
Singh said while no major change had been made in the combinations offered in the science stream, arts subjects offered in the arts stream have been divided into nine main categories and three compulsory subjects. Students will be allowed to choose one subject from each elective category.
“We have not reduced the number of subjects. However, while previously both popular and not-so-popular subjects were in different clusters, we have now put the less popular subjects with the popular ones, thus cutting down on the number of categories of elective subjects,” said Singh.
PU officials said even after bringing down subject combinations, the university would still offer nine elective subjects more than the six offered by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar; five in Punjabi University, Patiala, and four being offered in Kurikshetra University.
Sector-42 Post Graduate Government College principal Mani Bedi appreciated the new structure.
“The number of combinations offered will differ from college to college. The combinations offered by our college have been reduced from 240 to 235. I don’t see any problem with the new subject combinations,” Bedi said, adding that colleges would now get more time for teaching and would not be compelled to rush through their courses.