After 87 years, DU to adopt semesters | delhi | Hindustan Times
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After 87 years, DU to adopt semesters

By adopting a six-month semester system from the 2010-11 academic session, Delhi University (DU) is set to turn over a new leaf.

delhi Updated: Jun 06, 2009 00:25 IST
HT Correspondent

By adopting a six-month semester system from the 2010-11 academic session, Delhi University (DU) is set to turn over a new leaf.

The university has been following the system of annual academic sessions since its inception in 1922.

Despite stiff resistance from teachers, a resolution to adopt the semester system for undergraduate students, which will bring DU at par with other world-class educational institutions, was passed on Friday.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi and Indian Institutes of Technology already follow it. Panjab University is likely to adopt it later this year.

Both the National Knowledge Commission and the University Grants Commission (UGC) recommended the change.

By 2012, the UGC wants all Indian universities to adopt the system, facilitating easier migration of students and faculty across colleges and universities.

Once there is uniformity in academic schedules and curricula, a Hindu College student, for instance, pursuing an English literature degree, could switch to another college in another university after a semester.

A natural corollary to the semester system will be a credits system, Vice Chancellor Deepak Pental said.

In the system, students get credits for particular papers. A certain minimum number of credits will be necessary before a student can graduate. At present, a B. Com (Honours) degree, for instance, offers only a limited mix of subjects such as Maths and Economics. With credits in place, students could incorporate a subject like psychology into the mix, Pental said.

Semesters would make teachers more responsible said Sri Ram College of Commerce principal P.C. Jain. “Today, if a teacher doesn’t teach properly, students can’t do much. But with they semester system, they’ll have the option of applying to another college in the next semester.”

The city’s teaching community, which has maintained that DU does not need a semester system, resisted the change.

“We haven’t received any complaints in the 87 years that the annual system was followed. Why should we change just because a committee has recommended it or ape foreign universities following this model?” said DU academic council member Janmayjay Khuntia.