The Chronicle of Credits
Jan 26, 2017 | Sejal Singh
Prof. Animesh Biswas has been a ray of hope for the NITR student populace since the very day he first set his foot in the institute upon being appointed as the new Director. His unconventional opinions, paired with thirst to make NITR more habitable for the student populace, have rendered him an instant favourite on the campus. His statements in various interviews and events have made it crystal clear that he is of the view that academic freedom is an absolute necessity for students to excel in the field of engineering sciences and research.
He was also quoted as saying that he intends to appoint a committee to look into the current syllabus for the undergraduate courses and restructure it, such that the overall credits are reduced from a whopping 230 to 150-160. While this panel is all set to do the needful in the first week of February, this decision has given rise to a whirlwind of opinions on the campus.
In order to gauge the opinion of the masses, Team MM conducted a poll, titled “Do you think the reduction in number of credits with increased time for self-learning will help students fare better in their academics”, and the results were as follows:
1. Yes, I believe this approach is less exam-oriented and will help students truly learn
A whopping 82% asserted that a reduction in the number of credits for undergraduate courses would ensure that the focus of the students is centered on the subjects of importance in their respective branches, rather than a number of different subjects, some of which are of little importance in undergraduate studies yet demand immense effort from the students’ side. As reduction in the number of credits is synonymous to less academic burden, an exponential surge in the extra-curricular and co-curricular activities can be very well expected, thus resulting in a flourishing club culture, which NITR has been missing for quite some time now.
2. No, this will only result in students misusing all the free time that they get
12% of those who answered the poll believe that the current syllabus, consisting of subjects worth 230 credits to be completed within a span of 4-5 years, caters perfectly to the academic needs of the students. Not only does such a high number of credits make certain that the students get to study a variety of subjects, thus providing them an opportunity to not just study what is absolutely essential but to gain as much knowledge as they can in their respective fields. These people were of the view that a high number of credits keeps the students busy and prevents them for wasting their time indulging in activities that might prove to be hazardous to their academic performance.
3. The decision will not affect the academic performance of a student
A meager 6% of those who polled are of the opinion that reduction of credits would not bring about any significant difference in the academic scenario of NITR. Reduction in credits would not in any way reduce the academic burden, as the same effort that was earlier put into learning a variety of subjects would now be put into learning a lesser number of subjects. Those who are serious towards academics shall continue to perform brilliantly, and hence this decision wouldn’t matter much.
While the students seem to have mixed feelings about this decision that has come straight out of the Director’s chamber, the poll results speak for themselves when it comes to the opinion of the majority. While we cannot foresee the future, we sure can hope for this decision to bring about constructive changes in the current academic scenario and lead NITR towards a brighter future.