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No Semester System for Undergraduate Courses in Himachal Pradesh

by Manmath Nayak

The Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday decided to scrap the semester system in undergraduate courses under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) and revert to the annual examination system. The decision was taken based on the recommendation made by a review committee on the issue.

“We had set up a review committee headed by former vice-chancellor to review the RUSA and it has recommended reverting back (sic) to annual examination system,” Education Minister Suresh Bharadwaj was quoted as saying by a news agency.

The education minister said that the RUSA was introduced in the state in 2013 and continuing with the semester system was not suitable for a hilly state like Himachal Pradesh with difficult topography and demographic variations.

Replying to a query about the technical problems in starting annual examinations with Choice Based Credit System (CBCS),  the minister said that the varsity has been asked to draw up a plan to ensure that system worked smoothly and there was no delay in declaration of results.

Highlighting the focus of the government on qualitative improvement in education, Bharadwaj said that a decision has also been taken to start nursery classes in 3,000 schools from this year.

“The decision to start nursery class has been taken to check flight of students from government to private schools and the committee set up to find the cause had pointed the absence of nursery class as one of the reasons,” he said.

“All these schools would be equipped with a library,” he said, adding, “Vocational courses would be started in 23 more schools bringing the number of schools offering vocational education to 43.”

As the training of teachers and knowledge updation is a challenging issue, the minister said that the District Institutes of Education and Training (DIET) would be made fully computerised, and 13 girl hostels would be provided with solar lights facility.

“The state would receive a grant of INR 810 crore under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) this year from the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) for bringing qualitative improvement in education,” the minister stated.

He also announced that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facility would be introduced in 125 schools and 613 schools would be connected to ICT through satellite.

“All 312 left out schools in the state would be provided electricity while language labs would be made functional in 26 places and INR 90 lakh have been allocated for infrastructure development of schools in the remote Bharari area of Mandi,” the minister added.

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