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University Roundup


More papers: Students of the Bangalore University's undergraduate courses will now have to study three additional papers besides their optional subjects. As per the directions of the Supreme Court, the paper on Environmental Education has been introduced for students of B.A., B.Sc and B.Com. It could be completed in six months over 50 lectures.

Two more subjects, Indian Constitution and Computer Fundamentals, will also be part of the curriculum. The university's academic council recently approved the papers.


IPR seminar: That Intellectual Property Rights has remained beyond the comprehension of the user fraternity was evident from the two-day seminar conducted by the Karnatak University recently. The participants — professionals, authors, teachers and research workers — had many basic questions to ask on the implications of the IPR regime and how exactly their research works could be protected. And the experts specially invited to give the benefit of their expertise patiently fielded questions and told the listeners both the basic as well as the applied aspects. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (Department of Secondary Education, Book Promotion and Copyright Division) sponsored the seminar.

"It is still one area where more needs to be done," said Karisidddappa, Professor of Library Information Science of Karnatak University, who has already made a mark in the field, and participated in many international seminars. The Vice-Chancellor of Gulbarga University, V.B. Coutinho, who inaugurated the seminar, recalled his student days in Dharwad to say that Karnatak University had incorporated IPR issues 33 years ago. What was important in IPR, he said, was that the legal framework on rights should be improved and a clear policy formulated on multiplication, distribution and decentralisation of registration of patents.

The Vice-Chancellor of Karnatak University, Khaja Peer, said that it was unfortunate that only a few countries contributed the bulk of technological inputs. And this was a matter of concern for all the underprivileged countries.

I. Ramakrishna, Additional Professor of Law, National Law School of India University, Bangalore, Abhayan, Patent Attorney, V.K. Gupta of the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies, New Delhi, A. Laxman Moorthy of the Technical Information Centre, DRD Laboratory, Hyderabad, and H.S. Siddamallaiah, Prinicipal Library and Information Officer, NIMHANS, Bangalore, spoke on different aspects of IPR.


UGC gesture: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has sanctioned Rs. 25 lakhs to the Gulbarga University as the first instalment under the scheme for strengthening the infrastructure and research facilities in universities in the backward areas. The varsity is the only one selected in the State. It is likely to get around Rs. 1 crore totally.

The efforts made by the Vice-Chancellor, V.B. Coutinho, to include the varsity in the scheme has paid dividends. He said a meeting of the heads of departments in the university has been convened to prepare a master plan to upgrade facilities using the funds.

Prof. Coutinho said that there was no going back on the decision to introduce the semester system in the undergraduate courses from the next academic year. A meeting of Principals of the affiliated colleges has been convened to finalise the modalities for the introduction of the new system.


Controversial move: "Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more'' and many such celebrated lines in English literature were penned by the Bard of Avon. But the University of Mysore has no qualms discarding the legendary Bard and his plays in a controversial move that has stirred a hornet's nest in academic circles.

For a University which boasts of having produced scholars par excellence in many languages including English, the decision of the Board of Studies came as a bolt from the blue and left the students and the teaching community divided on the issue. "Literary classic sacrificed at the altar of commercialism'', opined those critical of the move. "Emphasis should be on English language teaching to enhance students' communication skills to make them competent to enter the job market'', responded the section supporting the change.

Undergraduate students opting for general English will be deprived of Shakespeare and his works from the ensuing academic year, though students of English literature will not be affected. The move may be intriguing to a section of teachers. But what they find incomprehensible is the Board's decision not to collect the English teachers' opinion on a matter of such immense significance.


Circular withdrawn: The recent controversial circular by the Kuvempu University making it mandatory for its affiliated colleges to teach all subjects except Science and English in Kannada medium at the under-graduate level has since been withdrawn after it evoked protests from the Muslim minority association.

The Muslim Graduation Association of Shimoga District said that if the circular was allowed to be implemented, students who had studied their Pre-University Course in English and studied languages other than English would find it difficult in pursuing their education at the under-graduate level. Tthe Registrar (Administration), Praveenchandra Pandey, said the order, was based on a wrong interpretation by the officer concerned.

Rasheed Kappan, M. Madan Mohan,
T.V. Sivanandan, R. Krishna Kumar,
Pramod Mellegatti

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