The Telegraph
Monday , February 18 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Now, study Nalanda & Nitish
Semester spurs syllabus revamp

Come July, students of history in Patna University will study the rise, and maybe the fall, of Lalu Prasad.

Of course, chapters on the life and contribution of Rajendra Prasad, Jayaprakash Narayan, Babu Jagjivan Ram, Sri Krishna Singh and even Nitish Kumar would be included in the undergraduate history syllabus — on revamp mode at present — of the university.

In most of the universities, except a few ones, undergraduate history syllabus ends — in chronological order — with India’s struggle for Independence.

Senior university teacher Bharti S. Kumar said the new syllabus would be designed according to the new research and pattern being followed in top universities. “Topics and chapters such as history of Bihar, women empowerment, studies on subaltern societies and others will be introduced in the revised syllabus. A paper will be dedicated to the study of ancient and medieval history of Bihar such as Nalanda, Buddhist influence, Sufi movements and special reference would be given to post-Independence Bihar,” Kumar said.

At present, the undergraduate course is studied in three years with two papers each in first and second year, while the third year has four papers. In the first year, there is a paper on the rise of the medieval west and ancient India. In the second year, students read early medieval India, European history. In the third year, the papers are on history of Far East, Middle East, freedom movement and others.

Syllabus of science subjects, too, would be revised. U.K. Sinha, the dean of science faculty, said: “In life sciences, we are teaching traditional topics divided into plant group and animal group and their characteristics.” In the revised syllabus, there would be a separate paper on biodiversity with detailed study and effects of its changes on living organism. Moreover, there would be a paper on changes in biodiversity, leading to world food problem and effe- cts of modern agriculture among others.

The study of economics at the undergraduate level would also change with the introduction of papers on demography and environmental economics. Asha Singh, a senior economics teacher at Patna University, said: “There will be a separate paper of demography or population study, which will deal with the growth of population and reason behind it such as better healthcare facilities and food supply.” She added that there would be a separate chapter on environmental economics dealing with environmental hazards.

The change in syllabi of different courses would be done simultaneously with the introduction of the semester system in the university’s undergraduate level from the next academic session, starting July-August.

In the semester system, examination would be held every six months.

Vivek Kumar, an undergraduate history student at Patna College, said: “It is good that new topics will be included in the revised syllabus. They will help not only in the postgraduate level but even at competitive examinations such as civil services.”