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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 5 Oct 2012
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Drastic decline B.A and B.Sc. courses
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With a drastic decline in demand for traditional subjects and life sciences at the undergraduate level, many city colleges have been forced to wind up certain courses and subject combinations in the past few years due to a lack of demand. Traditional subjects like B.A economics, history, political science, sociology and public administration and B.Sc. with subjects like botany, zoology, chemistry, biotechnology, biochemistry and microbiology have seen up to a 60% drop in applicants from 2008 onwards. Over the last four to five years, college officials have seen a steep drop in the number of applicants seeking admission in B.Sc. with these subjects. There are no takers for botany, zoology and chemistry (BZC) and mathematics, physics, chemistry (MPC) combinations in B.Sc.

Drastic decline B.A & B.Sc. courses

The BZC section is almost dead and we had to close down one of the two biotechnology sections around two years back, said Fr. Emmanuel, principal, Loyola Degree College. Similarly, Wesley Degree College closed the BZC and MPC combinations and Bhavans Vivekananda College dropped the biotechnology, genetics and chemistry combination from their prospectus some few years back. Officials from city colleges stated that the ratio of seats to applicants for these B.Sc. combinations had gone from 1:4 to 1:1 and, in some cases, even lower than that beginning 2008. In Bhavans Vivekananda College, the number of applications received for these courses dropped from 250 in 2008 to 61 in just two years and the cutoff percentage has gone down to 55% from 88%.

In St. Francis, too, there has been no cutoff percentage for these courses for the last three to four years. Filling a class of 30 students, too, has become difficult for these subjects in B.Sc. The B.Sc. genetics, zoology and chemistry section has had no students at all in the last two years. There has been at least a 60% to 70% drop in applications, said an official from Kasturba Gandhi College. Officials from St. Marys College said that in 2005 they had sought permission to add more seats to the existing 39 seats in B.Sc. biotechnology, zoology and the course has only 20 seats now and even these seats are being filled with great difficulty.

In arts stream, apart from mass communication and psychology, other traditional subjects seem to have fallen off students radar. K. Dev Anand, principal, Wesley Degree College said, We’ve had to shut down combinations like history, political science, public administration and economics, political science, public administration some years ago as there was hardly any demand for them. In a city with over 200 degree colleges, the number of institutes offering B.A with traditional subjects is just around 25 to 30. St. Francis College, one of the few institutes offering these combinations shut down the economics, public administration and computer applications course around three to four years ago and Loyola Degree College too closed B.A with history, sociology and public administration and B.A with economics, mathematics and computer science two years ago.

Meanwhile colleges like Bhavans, St. Marys and Villa Marie chose to include only B.A with mass communication or psychology in the prospectus keeping in view the high marketability of these subjects. Indira Kanakapudi, admissions in-charge, Villa Marie College said, Nowadays students only want job-oriented subjects. We have to look at the demand and offer courses as we cannot run a course just for a handful of students.

Courses and subject combinations that have been dropped over the past few years

College

Courses and subject combinations

Bhavans Vivekananda College

B.Sc. biotechnology, genetics, chemistry

Loyola Degree College

B.Sc. with biotechnology (one section closed); B.A history, sociology, public administration; B.A economics, mathematics, computer science

Kasturba Gandhi College

B.Sc. biotechnology, genetics, chemistry

Wesley Degree College

B.Sc. botany, zoology, chemistry; B.Sc. maths, physics, chemistry; B.A history, Political science, public administration; B.A economics, Political science, public administration; B.C.A

St Francis College

B.A economics, public administration, computer applications

Courtesy: Times of India

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