Report on University Science Education

 

6. SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

General Recommendations

Functioning of Colleges and Universities

  • Universities and colleges should satisfy the minimum requirement of running on schedule in all respects.
  • Properly implemented continuous teacher training programmes must be established.
  • Council urges adoption of a three-stream system of university education in science, along the lines set out in Section 4 of the text.
  • It is urged that new institutions or centres created should be within the overall university system, but administratively independent and autonomous.
  • Academic cooperation between educational institutions and national laboratories should be strongly encouraged, including joint research and teaching programmes and identification of adjunct faculty.

Role of Government Agencies and Industry

  • Funding of colleges and universities must improve, and quality science education centres should be started at a few places at least.
  • Accreditation of science departments in universities and colleges, to be reviewed periodically, should be carried out by an autonomous central body.
  • The pioneering efforts of DBT in the life sciences, and NBHM in mathematics, should be expanded upon and emulated by other major agencies such as DAE, DOE ' ISRO and DST; these agencies should support selected M.Sc. programmes in basic sciences, without early specialisation.
  • Individual industries and industry associations with common interests should award scholarships at the P.G. level, and support laboratories with funds and supplies. International agencies like UNESCO should also be approached for similar support.
  • Wide publicity should be given to all educational opportunities, aid to career opportunities in industry and elsewhere for science degree holders.

Academy Initiatives

Efforts by the Academy through the Fellowship

  • An Academy Committee will be set up to study how the twin aims of equity and excellence may be achieved by a suitably reoriented system of science education.
  • The Academy will commission the preparation of two volumes to indicate what the desirable levels are in each area of science for a student at the B.Sc. and M.Sc. levels, and at the threshold of research. The volumes could also describe course combinations and careers.
  • The Academy will commission the writing of monographs and lecture note's as necessary at different levels.
  • The Academy will commission documentation on 100 experiments in each of the basic sciences, using inexpensive commonly available materials, with the objective of bringing out principles in an appealing way.
  • The Academy will cooperate with or sponsor production of science programmes using the electronic media, possibly also in regional languages and using "alternative" teaching methods.
  • The Academy will periodically assess the state of affairs in the country in each of the basic sciences, and publish its findings, along with recommendations as to where special efforts are needed.
  • The Academy proposes to launch a new journal accessible to university students and teachers in science and the educated lay public interested in science, featuring expository articles, description of new teaching methods and innovative experiments, science news, historical notes, etc.; the journal will contain advertisements from prospective employers, and information about opportunities for study and research.

Interaction with the Student and Teacher Communities

  • A scheme for placement of students with Fellows of the Academy for summer research programmes will be worked out. A similar programme will be undertaken for association of motivated college and school teachers.
  • A series of Academy seminars will be organised involving selected college teachers and promising students, on topics chosen with the guidance of Fellows.
  • An extension lecture programme in different regions with the cooperation of local colleges will be set up under Academy auspices.
  • The Academy will invite selected college and university teachers to its annual and mid-year meetings as guest participants.

Link with Teaching Departments and Institutions

  • The Academy will encourage university science departments and national laboratories to produce brochures containing helpful information for the guidance of students.

Contacts with National Bodies, Agencies, etc.

  • The Academy supports the introduction of a wide variety of undergraduate applied science courses, undergraduate science programmes of high quality in selected institutions, and Integrated M.Sc. programmes. At least a few of the undergraduate science programmes should be run at University Departments where postgraduate courses are also conducted, and not only at affiliated colleges. The Academy also recommends the setting up of Integrated Ph.D. programmes in selected institutions, with a suitable course programme as an integral part.
  • The Academy endorses the need for good M.Sc. courses in different branches of science, similar to the DBT programme.
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