The four-year undergraduate programme of Delhi University, which has been referred to as a step to help students improve their entrepreneurial expertise and the chance to get better jobs, has opened to mixed reactions from the applicants. But DU's faculty reiterates its positive impact.
Dr MR Chhikara, Teacher In-charge, Department of Commerce, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (DCAC), wants the students to understand that the structure works in their favour. Whether it is their all-inclusive growth or inter-disciplinary understanding, the course has several benefits. "Decades back when I took up commerce, I didn't have the choice to study other subjects. But the new course will help the students, who have done B.Com to either pursue M.Com or MA in Economics, History and Political Science, depending on their Discipline Course I and Discipline Course II. These changes will help them gear up for the job market," explains Dr. Chhikara.
Will the students be interested to stay back and complete the four-year-long undergraduate course? "Those who get admissions in popular and esteemed colleges like DCAC, Sri Venkateswara, SRCC, etc, will, in all likelihood, complete the course. However, the same can't be said for the lesser-known colleges. But I would request the students to complete the course to exploit the benefits irrespective of the colleges they get admission in," Dr. Chhikara adds.
But DU aspirants are still not convinced about its benefits.
Dr. Rekha Dayal, Commerce Department, JMC, believes the course has played an instrumental role in making the not-so-popular courses (amongst students) gain more prominence. "There are several courses like Political Science, History, which many think aren't market driven. However, our recent survey shows these courses have also found several takers," she explains.
Abhay Kumar, Assistant Professor, SRCC feels students are sounding upbeat about the programme, which could be because of lack of affordable options. "Each year about 20-25 students from Tamil Nadu join SRCC. But that might be affected. I know a student, who wanted to join our college this year. But he has now decided to go to Singapore for higher studies. For, he doesn't want to waste a year. Another applicant from Jamshedpur I know, has preferred Calcutta University over Delhi University. Nonetheless, many students will opt for the four-year undergraduate programme because of lack of options," Abhay Kumar explains.
Read on to know what DU applicants have to say...
Even though DU applicant Anju Sharma, originally from Jamshedpur, finds the course interesting, she isn't certain of staying in the college for all 4 years. "I think it is good because now there is no B.com (Pass). And so anybody who spends 3 or 4 years in the course will be given same value. Moreover, I feel, the four-year programme seems too time consuming. I'm not sure if I'll stay for 4 years in a college," explains Anju.
For Patna-based Prateek Goyal, who scored 87%, is more concerned about getting B.Com, the much sought-after course, in the college of his choice. "DU's four-year undergraduate course has made no difference as such because the cut-offs remain very high. I'm waiting for the colleges to declare their 3rd cut-off lists so that I can take admission in DU. But most of the reputed colleges have closed admissions for their Commerce course. I don't know if I will be able to get admission in DU. Whether I will stay on or not for 4 years is not at all an important issue for me," says Prateek.
Suparna Kumar, who belongs to Delhi, doesn't mind spending an additional year in college. "If DU has taken the decision, they would have weighed the pros and cons. So who am I to say it won't be in my favour. I'm determined to make the most of my four-year long stay in DU," she says.
S. Dinesh, another aspirant for Commerce in DU, is relived as there will be no distinction between Hons and Pass courses now. Anyone who manages to get admission in DU and stays for four years shall be awarded with the Hons degree, which is good, he says. "Thankfully, I won't have to face the discrimination which my sister faced when she pursued B.Com (Pass). I will stay back for four years only if the college delivers quality. Else I will opt for a professional course," says S. Dinesh.
(Some names have been changed on request.)