PEC policies match international standards
Chandigarh, February 17th 2006 Tribune News Service
When Prof Vijay Gupta joined Punjab Engineering College as its Director exactly one year ago, no one associated with the city’s first autonomous deemed university could have imagined what was in store for the institute. Bringing a breath (or rather a storm) of fresh air into the campus, Prof Gupta managed to set into motion widespread changes in the academic and administrative environment of one of the reputed engineering colleges of the region. Now one year later, he feels the time has come to first consolidate and strengthen the processes set in motion and wait till further changes are made.
“Autonomy is the key word. I joined here leaving a more lucrative post elsewhere just because this institute is independent. We (Board of Directors) take all the decisions after feedback from the various standing committees of the institute. Every point of view is heard, discussed and then implemented,” he said.
“Starting with the students, we drew up a student charter which lists both the rights and responsibilities of the students. This gave students a vision and also clarity on what is to be expected from us and what is expected of them,” he said.
A personal tutorial scheme has been introduced where each faculty member would have a small group of students attached to him. “The group would interact informally and we hope this would strengthen the bond between the teachers and the students,” he said. Similarly, a student counselling service was started to help students in distress. “There are students in each course who have been asked to inform the counselling cell in case he or she feels that a particular student is going through some problems,” he said, adding that student employment scheme was started and now a peer coaching scheme has also been introduced. “The senior students are paid by PEC to teach some of the students who are not able to catch up well in the regular classes alone,” he said.
The problem of acute shortage of faculty has also begun to be solved. “All benefits which were recommended by the pay commissions and AICTE have been granted to the faculty. We are encouraging them to take up Ph.Ds at IITs as part of the professional development programme,” he said.
An almost complete overhaul of the academic administration and structure has been yet another major achievement of the Director. “We introduced the coursewise pass and broad based grading system. A totally transparent system of grading was introduced where students can examine their graded answer-sheets at all stages,” he said.
Even the academic policy of the institute was made to match international standards. “The new curriculum stresses on technology, design and IT orientation. And its flexible. We recognise that students have different abilities and those with higher abilities should be given an opportunity to over reach, hence the honours programme. Academically weaker students be allowed to take lesser load per semester and a summer term has been started to take care of the spill over.”
And this is not all. A lap- top has been made compulsory for the students and web based learning has been introduced in all courses with a web page for each course.
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