This appeared in The Hindu today
Introduction to South Asia is a compulsory subject at SAU now
“Introduction to South Asia” will now be a compulsory course for every student at South Asian University (SAU) and they have to pass this non-credit course in order to get their degrees.
Following the introduction of this course, students joining from different nations in South Asia will have the benefit of acquiring some basic facets pertaining to the region. This was decided at the second Academic Council meeting of South Asian University held here.
South Asian University is also making all necessary arrangements to start a Ph.D. programme from the next academic year. Publication of a journal on South Asia is also in the offing.
Chaired by Professor G. K. Chadha, the president of SAU, the meeting was attended by all members of the Council, including the three external experts co-opted by the Council — Professor Ainun Nishat, Vice-Chancellor of Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) University, Dhaka, Professor Adil Najam, Vice-Chancellor of Lahore University of Management Sciences, and Professor N. Jayaram from Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
The University will also institute an SAU Gold Medal for the student who passes out of the university with the best academic performance in his/her class. In all, there will be eight such medals, one given out to a student each, from the eight post-graduate programmes the University currently offers.
In view of the time-consuming visa process students have to go though, the Academic Council recommended the admission schedule of SAU to start from the first week of January, two months ahead of what it was last time around. The university conducts admission assessments in all SAARC countries on a single day. To facilitate easy process, the Indian High Commission provides visas to students coming to the university under a special category called SAU Visa. Understanding the unique nature of the university, the Council further recommended a required minimum attendance in class and satisfactory fulfilment of academic assignments, for students to be eligible to write their examinations.