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CU science to make semester switch

Calcutta: Calcutta University will introduce biannual semester examinations and the choice-based credit system in undergraduate science courses this year, but the arts stream will have to wait until 2019 to make the switch.

The university had previously announced that the choice-based credit system would be introduced in both science and arts during the 2018 academic session, scheduled to start in August.

The decision had been taken after the University Grants Commission (UGC) asked universities to switch to the choice-based credit and semester systems by this year. This would replace the practice of having an annual examination.

Calcutta University was apparently forced to postpone the implementation of the new system in arts till 2019 because the syllabuses have not been revised yet and most colleges are not ready with the infrastructure and other facilities required for such a major transition.

"The syllabuses for most science subjects have been revised in keeping with the requirements of the choice-based credit and semester systems. We hope to implement both in science this year, but as the situation stands it won't be possible for us to shift to the choice-based credit system in arts before 2019," vice-chancellor Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee said.

The choice-based credit system has already made its debut at the undergraduate level in the commerce stream of 85-odd colleges affiliated to Calcutta University. This happened during the last academic session. The first round of semester examinations in the commerce stream are scheduled to start mid-January.

The choice-based credit system brings with it the flexibility of picking subjects across disciplines - the options in terms of courses might be limited at first - along with the freedom to study a particular portion of a course in a college other than the one a student belongs to.

This is based on "credit points", a product of "credits" assigned to a course and "grade points" scored by a student.

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