Thursday, May 23, 2013

JNU mulls school for undergraduate studies

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), one of India's highly prestigious and reputed varsities, may soon open a school of undergraduate studies. The university has sent a proposal to the University Grants Commission (UGC) to start undergraduate courses under the innovation universities scheme started by the commission to "identify institutions and support them to develop specialized courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in emerging areas and accommodate original ideas and innovative proposals to influence teaching, research, academic excellence and societal development of relevance."

According to SK Sopory, Vice-Chancellor of JNU, the proposal has been sent to the UGC and they are currently waiting for a response from them. "We are yet to decide on the exact courses that will be offered. If we get a positive response, we will start working on the courses and their structures. This will take some time," he said.

However, what is certain is that the courses will have a component of research and innovation, as this is what the brief for innovative universities demands. "The proposal is for starting a school of undergraduate studies that will have courses in sciences and humanities. These will be feeders for the postgraduate courses that we are running already," Sopory added.

If the proposal is accepted, the UGC will fund it completely for five years, after which the university will have to support it on its own. The grant will range between Rs. 100 crore (Rs. 1 billion) to Rs. 300 crore (Rs. 3 billion).

The invitation letter that was sent to various universities stated that they can send entries for new types of degrees and courses, innovation in curricula including evaluation, pedagogic innovation, interdisciplinary and cross border research or creation of research facility that may be shared by a number of universities and research institutions.

Source: Hindustan Times, May 23,2013

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