Siliguri, June 20: Twenty-four colleges affiliated to North Bengal University will offer honours courses in new subjects from the 2007-08 academic session.
The decision, taken at the varsity’s undergraduate council meeting on Monday, will allow no less than 650 students from across north Bengal to pursue their preferred subjects for bachelor’s degree with honours (see chart).
“In all, 35 colleges had applied to us asking for permission to introduce new honours subjects, but after inspection of the premises and staff strength, the undergraduate council gave permission to only 24,” said council secretary Nupur Das. “Inspection is still on in some colleges.”
Since the admission process has just started in the colleges, the new subjects will be offered to students from this year itself, said Das.
The colleges have chosen the new subjects according to their popularity among students. “Geography is quite a favourite among those looking to become schoolteachers,” said the vice-chancellor of North Bengal University, P.K. Saha. “A number of colleges had wanted to start honours course in geography, but we selected only five after inspection,” he added.
For the first time in the 45-year history of the varsity, physiology is being introduced as an honours subject. It will be taught at Siliguri College.
Of the new-age subjects, Kalimpong College gets permission to introduce Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA).
The varsity has also increased the intake capacity of several colleges in honours subjects. “A lot of students from here do not get a chance to study honours subjects at the undergraduate level because of non-availability of seats,” the vice-chancellor said. “This prevents them from pursuing post graduate studies.”
“Many colleges had applied to us to allow them to increase the number of seats. After a thorough inspection by our team, we have decided to let some of them admit more students,” Saha added.
In total, 160 seats have been increased across 17 colleges.
In the case of general courses, the varsity statute of maximum 150 students per section remains. “Under no circumstances should there be more than 150 students in one section,” the vice-chancellor said. However, colleges can take in more candidates if the number of sections is increased and infrastructure is upgraded accordingly.
Das added that no college in Sikkim had submitted any proposal for introduction of new courses. The state is expected to have its own university soon.