Calcutta, Nov. 4: The Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government has started an exercise to restructure the entire academic calendar for higher education and follow the pattern of universities and institutions outside Bengal.
The government intends to implement the revised calendar from 2006.
Suranjan Das, the Calcutta University pro vice-chancellor (academic), said once the academic calendar was recast, students wishing to pursue higher studies in reputed institutions outside the state would benefit.
“Many of our students are often keen on pursuing courses in universities and institutions outside Bengal. But they often have to face problems because different universities maintain different schedules for conducting examinations and announcing results,” said Das, also a member of the West Bengal Council of Higher Education.
Through this exercise the government intends to ensure every university across Bengal conducts its examinations and announces results at the same time as other institutions in the country.
“We should be able to implement the revised calendar from the 2006 academic year. Most universities in Bengal have already started preparations,” said Shyamapada Pal, a member of the Calcutta University syndicate and the higher education council.
At the root of the government move, however, is a proposal from the University Grants Commission.
The UGC has begun an exercise to set up a national academic calendar so that all universities registered with it maintain a uniform schedule, particularly for holding examinations and announcing results. The objective is to increase mobility ' and, therefore, choice ' of students.
Pal said the UGC had asked the government to complete the restructuring of the academic calendar and submit a report by March 31.
Explaining the students’ problems, higher education department officials said the results of most examinations ' undergraduate and post-graduate ' in other states are declared earlier than those in Bengal.
For instance, after completing BSc from Calcutta University, if a student wants to study a post-graduate course in Benares Hindu University he would not be able to do so because by the time the results come out, admission would have closed.
In such a situation, the student applies for a provisional marksheet ' a temporary pass certificate ' from Calcutta University. But this system is inadequate because many universities do not accept it.
Higher education minister Satyasadhan Chakraborty will meet vice-chancellors of all universities in the state, including Visva-Bharati, and senior officials of the department next week to discuss the overhaul of the calendar.
Officials said the main point on the agenda for the meeting is to fix the opening and closing times of major academic activities.
Under the plans of the higher education department, classes in all courses should start in each of the 340 and odd colleges across Bengal ' no matter which university they are affiliated to ' by the first week of July every year. Admissions to all courses will have to be completed by the third week of July.