This post has some updates at the end.
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The Indian Institute of Science and the University Grants Commission have agreed on a compromise formula to wriggle out of the latest controversy surrounding the four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) course.
The IISc’s proposal to tweak the four-year BS course to BSc (Research), making the fourth-year research voluntary, has been accepted by the UGC, even as students and parents continue to be unhappy.
The BS course will now be known as BSc (Research), with an exit option after three years as a general BSc programme while the fourth year will be devoted to research.
I'm sure we will learn more in the days ahead, and I'll update this post with links.
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(9:00 AM, 14 Aug 2014) The proposed change in the degree awarded at the end of four years -- from the original, nationally advertised B.S. to the new, decidedly underwhelming B.Sc. (Research) -- is bound to rankle the students. I dont' expect the second change (that of an exit option after 3 years leading to the usual B.Sc. degree) to cause a major stir.
It is not clear how exactly this name change came about. In one version (in Mohanty's Telegraph report, above), it was IISc's idea: "The Bangalore institute yesterday [11 August 2014] sent a letter suggesting it was ready to tweak the BS programme to BSc (Research)." CNN-IBN and Deccan Herald also support this view: "According to a ministry official, the IISc also proposed to change the nomenclature and scheme of the programme making it a three-year course for BSc degree and four-year BSc research degree."
In a second version (also reported by Mohanty in The Telegraph, one day earlier!):
Official sources said the UGC has suggested that the IISc should tweak the format of its course and rename it BSc (Research). The first three years could be devoted to a general BSc course as offered by other universities, and the fourth to research, which could be optional.
Students could then exit the course after three years if they wished. If they chose to continue for the fourth year, they would be awarded a BSc (Research) degree. They would also get credit points that would help them get direct admission into a PhD programme.