Students say PAU took step to deal with staff shortage

Merging of BSc programmes: V-C Dhillon says move will provide more interaction with teachers

Referring to the on-going strike by students of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) regarding the merger of the sections of BSc Agriculture (Hons.) four-year and six-year programmes, the PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, clarified in a statement Wednesday that the step is an initiative towards students' academic excellence and personality enhancement.

He urged students to give-up their strike and join their classes so that their precious time is not wasted. The students meanwhile have stated that it will add more students in their class which will turn into a class of 60 and hence they will not be able to understand things in a better way. The students have stated that PAU is doing this to beat the shortage of teachers and hence is making the students suffer.

Dr D S Cheema, Dean, College of Agriculture, PAU, said that the merging of the sections aimed at having the equal number of students in every section and practical groups. Apart from this, the major objective of the merger of sections was to provide an opportunity to the students for better interaction among themselves and with their teachers.

Clarifying that in the College of Agriculture, there are two BSc Agriculture (Hons.) programmes, Dr Cheema told that one programme is of six-year duration wherein matriculate students are admitted and the other is of four-year duration wherein 10+2 (Medical/Non-Medical) students are admitted. During the first two years, the students of BSc Agriculture (Hons.) six-year programme are generally taught basic science courses having equivalency to 10+2 level. He further explained that after two years of their study, these students are offered exactly the same courses as are offered to the students of BSc Agriculture (Hons.) four-year programme.

Dr Cheema said that during the later four-years of six-year programme, the students of both the streams follow uniform course curriculum till the completion of their degree. Their classes are held together in the same building and their evaluation is done by common examinations, stated Dr Cheema, while saying that the students of both the streams stay together in the hostels and make use of common mess.

"Besides, they participate and perform together at every platform including cultural activities, sports events, and advisory group meetings, which are held irrespective of their stream/class. He informed that the compulsory three-fold programme (NCC, NSO, NSS) is also common to all the students," he added.

Dr Cheema said, "There is no logic in the indefinite strike of the students. Rather, the decision goes in the favour of the student fraternity."

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