Published: 04th September 2019
From Mahabharata to The Zoya Factor, what's in UGC's new curriculum for BA English students
The learning outcomes for any subject's curriculum is designed to help learners understand the objectives of studying that subject, that is, to analyse, appreciate and understand the subject
Very soon, students in India who opt to study BA English will be in for a treat. According to the updated curriculum suggestions issued by the UGC for the English Literature (BA Hons) curriculum you will get to study everything from the Ramayana to Rushdie. Piqued?
According to the additional recommendations for reading given, you get to study excerpts from the epics like the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Natyashastra as a part of Indian Classical Literature that falls under the first paper of the course.
Wait, we haven't finished yet. Under Paper III, as a part of Indian Writing in English, you will notice the usual classics like R K Narayan's Swami and Friends and Kamala Das' Introduction, but what stands out is Amitav Ghosh's Shadow Lines and Mahesh Dattani's Dance Like a Man, which are mostly contemporary literature and were not included earlier (pretty progressive, we would say). Also, under the suggested reading list for most of the papers, you have authors like Salman Rushdie, Agatha Christie and Anuja Chauhan. How cool is that? Sounds pretty amazing to me, maybe because I never had such interesting course material when I studied English, ages ago.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has revised the curriculum of various undergraduate and postgraduate (UG/ PG) programmes based on the Learning Outcomes Based Curriculum Framework (LOCF). "To facilitate the task of revision of curriculum in various subjects, UGC has constituted subject-specific Expert Committees. The Committees after having detailed deliberations and wider consultations at the national level have developed the LOCF reports in different subjects," the UGC said in its official notification.
The commission has updated the curriculum of subjects like BSc Botany, BA General Criminology, English as General Elective, English Literature (BA Hons), and more. The inception of this curriculum took place a year ago when a resolution was adopted in the National Conference of Vice-Chancellors and Directors on Research and Innovation held between July 26-28, 2018. One of the resolutions that came up at that conference was to 'Adopt and implement Learning Outcome Based Curriculum Framework (LOCF) in HEls, by updating curriculum from the academic year 2019-20'. And now, the UGC has finally decided to implement it.
So, what is the Learning Outcomes Based Curriculum Framework exactly?
On August 7, 2018, UGC issued a public notice followed by a direction to all central institutions, to form subject-specific committees for the implementation of the Learning Outcomes-based Curriculum Framework. "The fundamental premise of LOCF is to specify what graduates completing a particular programme of study are expected to know, understand and be able to do at the end of their programme of study," UGC had said in a release. The LOCF approach "makes the student an active learner; the teacher a good facilitator and together they lay the foundation for lifelong learning".
"The idea behind LOCF is to decide the desired outcome within the framework of the current Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and then design the curriculum to obtain these outcomes. The outcomes will be determined in terms of skills, knowledge, understanding, employability, graduate attributes, attitudes, values, etc., gained by students upon the completion of the course," added UGC in its recent notification.