ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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'Semesterisation'

Change is necessary in our universities, but ramming through change as in Delhi University will not work.

Recent years have seen many measures to overhaul the working of Indian universities. After six decades of neglect and patchwork repairs, it is only under the United Progressive Alliance government that serious thought has been given to the requirements of India’s higher education sector. Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal estimates that India will require 1,000 new universities and over 45,000 new colleges in the coming decade. A large part of this expansion is planned through private funding, including foreign direct investment. It is as yet unclear what, if any, controls will be placed on such funding and on the working of these institutions to ensure that the social and pedagogical goals of higher education are not compromised.

It is in this context that measures to reform existing universities are taking place. Assessments based largely on an annual exam are being replaced by semesters and internal assessments, which give students greater exibility and cushion as well as provide them with access to a greater variety of courses. However, much of these reforms, whether about research and publication of the faculty, the introduction of integrated undergraduate and postgraduate courses or the switch to a semester system have been resisted by teaching faculty in most universities.

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