Panjab University (PU) is mulling providing facility of 'branch sliding' to its engineering students wherein they could opt for subjects of their choice in the second year.
If allowed by the university, hundreds of students will get benefitted from the facility which is proposed for the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) and SSB University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (SSBUICET).
A PU official told the Hindustan Times that a number of top institutes, including National Institute of Technology (NITs) and PEC University of Technology, provide this facility to its students.
PU students have been demanding introduction of such a system for the engineering students for quite some time. A committee formed by vice-chancellor AK Grover is to meet later this week to discuss the branch sliding issue at the UIET and SSBUICET and the matter is likely to be put up before the syndicate that is likely to meet on March 15.
"At NITs, students with CGPA 8 in the merit list and at PEC, students with CGPA 9 are allowed to opt for subject of their choice provided seats are vacant in the department requested for by the student. However, not more than 10% of students are allowed to switch branches," a top PU official said.
An official from the UIET said providing meritorious students a chance to opt for subject of their choice was good for them, but at PU there were some issues associated with it.
"First-year biotechnology students are made to study two extra subjects of biology. Now, if we allow branch sliding and a computer science student ops for biotechnology, how will the student in second year make up for biology, a subject he has not studied in first year," the official added.
What is branch sliding
It is a term used by engineering colleges, wherein students after passing the first-year exams are allowed to opt for some other stream. In most of the institutes as first-year subjects of engineering courses are same, students are allowed switch to some other stream provided there are vacant seats in the opted branch. In most cases, students opt for branch sliding to take admission in a popular course.
Institutes mostly accept the request of only meritorious students. In some popular engineering colleges, only students with not less than CGPA 8 are allowed. The institutes often put a bar on number of students who they would allow to leave a stream.
If an electronics and telecommunication student wants to opt for computer science stream, then he will be allowed only if he has requisite CGPA fixed by the institute. If he is studying in a class of 70 and the institute only allows 10% branch sliding, only seven students from his class will be allowed to switch over. If he is at number 8 in the merit list, he will not be allowed by the institute.