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We are trying to refine students’ evaluation process: Principal ICSC

Post by on Monday, June 20, 2022

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With the implementation of Uniform Academic Calendar, Islamia College of Science and Commerce (ICSC), Srinagar has become the first college to take a lead in launching all its programmes under National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.The college is all set to start a four year degree undergraduate programme of which framework has been finalized.

To know more about the achievements of college and its roadmap, Rising Kashmir’s Education Correspondent Riyaz Bhat talked to the principal of ICSC Shiekh Aijaz Bashir.

What have been your priorities since you joined the ICSC? Did you introduce any new courses for the students?

I have joined the college in June 2019. This college has been autonomous since 2015 and now it is due for the extension of the autonomous journey.

After I joined the college, we have introduced certain programmes in 2020. We call them leap programmes. We introduced Integrated Post Graduate programmes in Zoology, Botany and Chemistry. Simultaneously, we converted Undergraduate programmes of Zoology, Botany and Chemistry into honors programmes and we also introduced these programmes for the post graduation as well.

We also introduced honors in economics that was the first of its kind in the college. Later, we introduced nanoscience and nanotechnology. Around 14 courses were reshaped or rehashed and introduced in the colleges.

Further, we increased the intake capacity of students for each programme. We conduct the admission process through a system wherein the merit list is being prepared on the basis of the marks of the students at senior secondary level. With the result, we got very meritorious students for the college.

Do you think that there was a need to upgrade the college which was focused on providing the education in science and commerce only?”

ICSC was running a commerce programme but that has been stopped once we introduced the honors and other integrated programmes. One more intervention regarding excellence in academics was much needed. By excellence, we mean that we have been running the programmes and there has been no outcome for the students so we revisited our system, we took the necessary initiatives to resolve it. One of the important initiatives that our college took was that we introduced the continuous assessment wherein we evaluate students at every stage. Normally what we do is, we start teaching and conducting the semester exams at the end but we reviewedthat process and we introduced exams after every 15 days for 25 percent of the marks at different stages. Our future programme is to upscale the continuous assessment from 25 percent to 40 percent for the betterment of the students. End term semester exams would be then only of 60 percent marks. We are trying to refine the system.

What is the status of the uniform academic calendar that the Higher Education Department has proposed to implement in sync with the national academic calendar.

Higher Education Department has taken a very good initiative wherein our students had to wait for a long time for the national exams, our results are being declared in the month of February so the students of Jammu and Kashmir have to wait till June-July when the CBSE results come. So, in order to bridge the gap, a common academic calendar was issued to merge the academic session with the national calendar. Islamia College will implement the Common Academic Calendar this year even though we have notified our calendar that will begin from 1st August.

Do you think that the common academic calendar is suitable for Jammu and Kashmir in terms of topography of the region?

The Colleges here have 50 days of winter vacations from December27 to February15. If we look for more vacations, that is where we are lacking. In one or other pretext, we just drag our system and our students lag behind. But when you fix the date and a timeline, students will automatically be prepared to join the academics irrespective of what kind of weather conditions we have.

As far as National Education Policy (NEP) is concerned, is ICSC ready to implement it?

The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has decided to implement the NEP from this year only. A lot of things have been done so far. The NEP talks in terms of a four year degree undergraduate programme of which framework has been finalized. Now it is under revision and the final outcome will come shortly.

Tell us about the skill development centre in computer science, electronics and IT at your college?

The Islamia College of Science and Commerce-Skill Development Centre (ICSC-SDC) under collaboration by Department of Computer Science, Electronics and IT along with spokes (all degree colleges of districts Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal) is a community of professionals in the field of Technology who are experts in technological Innovations and research with imparting skills to the Community.

The ICSC-SDC is dedicated to share and exchange ideas and knowledge for uplifting of society in general and technology sector in particular. Under the National Skills Development Corporation, many Sector Skill Councils representing respective industries are being established. One of the mandates of Sector Skill Councils is to develop Qualification Packs (QPs), National Occupational Standards (NOSs) for various job roles in their respective sectors. It is important to embed the competencies required for specific job roles in the higher education system for creating employable graduates.  

The NEP has a provision that if a student wants to discontinue or switch over to a new course. Do you receive any such applications from the students?

This is a very important point one needs to understand. This provision talks about the multiple entries and exits. As principal of the college, I receive a number of applications on a routine basis from the students asking for discharge certificates and that is a very genuine thing. Now, since the NEP talks about handing over the certificate after one year and diploma after two years makes sense. With this provision there is no wastage of work done by the students and the policy subsequently provides chances to complete the degree from diploma certificate to full-fledged degree.

What is the status of infrastructural development in the college?

There has been a huge infrastructural development in the college. Our capital expenditure has been huge and the development in the college is pretty visible. We have good human resources, smart classes and all other facilities which are required to be in an educational institute.  

Do you intend to extend the intake capacity of seats for the students?

For the prestigious undergraduate programme of Business Management, College has increased the intake from 80 to 160 to cater to huge demand, the course has been attracting year on year. Maybe, next year we will request the administrative department to give us the opportunity of operating this college in two shifts. If that is possible then we will increase our seats and conduct the classes in morning and evening shifts.

Are there any scholarships currently in place in the college and is there any particular reservation for the bright students or the students belonging from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS)?

Yes, we have introduced the EWS category from this year as per the government policy and we are trying to help the underprivileged or orphan students by providing them scholarships.

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