Please tell us about your journey back from joining Tribhuwan University till Head of Science and technology faculty? How was the experience?
Talking about the past I did my I. SC in 2052 B.S. from Patan Campus and from there I also did BSc Computer science. Later, I did MSc. CSIT from the same department. We were the first batch of CSIT (computer program). I did my thesis under the professor from IIIT India. I went to Bangalore and in two months’ time I completed my thesis. After finishing my Masters I joined Patan Campus as a lecturer. Back in 2068B.S. I passed the examination of service commission conducted by T.U. and started working as permanent faculty of Tribhuwan University. I got the responsibility of Department Head. I was interested in teaching job and I agreed to conduct lecture for the students of science and technology department of T.U. I was successful in my endeavors and now I am the head of Central department of computer science and Information technology of Tribhuwan University I have still time and been giving my services to Tribhuwan University.
What are preparations made by Tribhuwan University to bring new academic programs before the students?
Under science and technology, T.U. has conducted CSIT program which is related with information technology. Bachelor’s level has BSc.CSIT, and in masters level we have MSc.CSIT. The former program is available at different private colleges affiliated to T.U. The latter is taught only in the Central department of Tribhuwan University. New programs like BIT (Bachelors in Information technology) and Masters in Information technology (MIT) are needs for University and for the future of our Country. We are also planning to introduce new programs; it has to be passed from the academic counsel. From this academic year BIT will be available in constituent campuses. The program we have with us is mainly for the science students. But, BIT and MIT is an open student program. We thought everyone should be able to study Information Technology. Currently, these two programs are in pipeline. Coming academic year both these programs will be implemented.
Are the courses according to the need and requirement of the present time? After completing Bachelors will they be able to work in the market and compete internationally?
This course is directly related to Information technology and computer science. We must make it updated on timely basis. Core things are the same- what you will learn now and what it was decade ago will not be changed. Technology is changing very quickly. With changes it is important that we revise our courses according to the technology used today. For.e.g we revised BSc.CSIT course studied by second semester students. Last time it was around 3 years before the revision was made. In changing environment students should have knowledge of latest technologies otherwise we cannot produce quality students in science and information technology. We will make the changes and introduce new courses in between will be done as per the needs.
It is found that in the IT field, T.U has more elective courses than the specialized course why?
I think that specialized course has merits and demerits. The drawback is that in specialized course if a student is given knowledge about particular field only and if he doesn’t have opportunity to work in his field he will not get a good job. Our target is producing general manpower and also giving them open options to choose their elective course that show the student’s interest but if we give specialization course and if that field doesn’t have the scope then it will be very difficult for student from job perspective. In University level, Bachelor level is general program. In Masters Level, MPhil and Phd it will get more focused. Choosing electives from different subjects in a way is specialization for student.
What are the challenges of this department?
Actually there are many challenges for us. You might have heard about lots of political activity going on at our University. Student activity, professor activity are also on buzz. We have challenges however I think despite of these challenges, we should be always ready to face them and be able to move ahead. If we cannot cope up to challenges it is not good for us. Each challenge has a solution and we think we can come up with timely solutions to meet those challenges before us.
6) IT is a dynamic course. We often hear from others that it is not according to the syllabus, how do you look in this aspect?
Courses designed 5- 6 years back will not match entirely to new course so we need to revise and update the academic program. As I said it earlier that, we have implemented new course and subjects that are latest for e.g. cloud computing, mobile application development, data warehousing, data mining, big data , artificial intelligence. I think in the market most students are studying old course, we have taken the first batch intake of the new course and they have finished first semester exams and entered second semester. If there are further requirements we can change courses time and again. For this we don’t have any problem.
Do you take re-take exams of students on time? Do they need to wait for more than a year to know their results?
This is a relevant question. Those students who are passing exams without any back paper we have published their last semester result right on time. Now, a talk about improving the result publication is going on. If we look today, we don’t have any old results pending with us. All results have been announced. Now our target is that, we will publish result within 90 days and 120 days at max.. This will be the norm of T.U. Earlier we had problem about this, and Department can not only be held accountable, there are concerned Deans for this. Taking examinations and publishing result is the work of dean office. We are just facilitators. From what I have known result will be published in 120 days latest and four years program will finish in four year time.
T.U. should make a rule about giving back exams. I have heard in seventh and eighth semester one can give back exams on time so that their one year will not be wasted. I think we can manage back papers because there is a room for lots of improvisations in our education policy. For 1st to fifth semester students also if we can provide back paper exams after few weeks of result notification then it will be very good for students. I think we should take such initiative in T.U.
Recently we heard that CSIT students were prohibited to apply in government jobs, they also protested against it, was it relevant or not? Have their demands been fulfilled?
There are no restrictions for applying in government jobs. There are two posts to apply for government jobs by students of computer and information technology. First one is Information technology officer and second is computer engineer post. Their demand was for computer engineer post why can’t Bsc. CSIT students apply for it. Their demand is justified because computer engineers are not even categorized under engineering service. They have put in other service which is not under the engineering wing. To dismiss the applicants under false presumption is definitely not appropriate. The government of Nepal has been informed about this from various branches of Tribhuwan University for e.g. dean office, departments and through the office of Vice chancellor. So, I think government will take into consideration this whole issue and take appropriate action. IT and computer field produce engineers and it cannot be tagged to one specific post only.
What are your future plans to improve the condition of the science and technology field?
At first we enrolled only 24 students for Masters Level and after coming and working here I thought that we were giving opportunity only for 24 selected students which were very narrow. I felt we should give more opportunity and we added six more quotas. Now 30 students can apply for this level. Msc.CSIT program could be studied by only those students who studied science and engineering. We believed in equal opportunity for all. So after I came, we made a new program Masters in Information Technology which is for all students studying Information technology. Coming academic year we will be implementing this program with my involvement. We are facing high level of political intervention and this must be minimized drastically. We are improving but there are many rooms for improvement. After I came here, this department has introduced PhD program for the first time. Two students have enrolled for this program and this is a good achievement for us.
Mr. Nawaraj Paudel.
Head, Asst. Prof., CDCSIT, Tribhuvan University.