The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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IIT roadmap for grades in colleges

Calcutta, Dec. 1: Move over marks, get ready for grades; annual exams are passé, semesters are popular — all IIT style.

The process of examination and evaluation in institutes of higher learning across the country is all set to change with the ministry of human resource development planning to align the process with the global practice. In a bid to bring in uniformity in assessment and give students more flexibility and freedom in choosing courses, the central government is working on a model credit-based semester system.

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the central body, has roped in the four Indian Institutes of Technology — Kharagpur, Delhi, Chennai and Bombay — to draw a roadmap for transition to the new regime and work out the model structure.

“We will hold a one-day workshop to deliberate on this issue and work out a model, which we will then forward to AICTE,” said S.K. Dubey, director, IIT Kharagpur.

The workshop, to be held in Kharagpur tomorrow, will be attended by over 50 vice-chancellors of universities, directors and heads of various technological and management institutes. Besides, all the departmental heads of IIT Kharagpur will also be present.

“At IITs, we follow a semester system, with two semesters of four months each, a summer quarter and a winter break, and give grades to our students. We will start the discussion by presenting the existing system and will then deliberate on introduction of some changes to work out a model system,” said R.V. Rajakumar, dean, academic affairs, IIT Kharagpur.

Similar workshops in the three other regions are being organised. Going by the AICTE deadline, the IITs are supposed to submit their proposals by the first half of December. Finally, the directors of the four IITs will meet in Delhi to thrash out a model credit-based semester system. Academic institutes across the country will eventually switch to this system. Though no deadline has been set, ministry sources definitely see the new system being implemented by the academic session starting 2005.

“Semester-based grading system is the standard practice the world over. But in our country, different institutes follow different approaches. We will try to explore how semester-based grading system can cater to our needs like incorporating more flexibility in the system,” said Rajakumar.

With the focus on specific module-based programmes and the practice of attaching different weights to different courses for true evaluation, the system will be a boon for the students, it will facilitate the process of learning and streamline evaluation, feels the professor.

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