Offbeat courses open doors at DU

Getting admissions in Delhi University (DU) is undoubtedly a herculean task, especially when you don’t have the magical 90 and above percentage.

The only option left then is to compromise with either the course or the college. And if you are not at par with the average candidates, then you face the bleak prospect of se­e­ing your DU dreams shatter.

However, DU offers some unconventional courses that not only opens a gateway for students who have got less percentage but also gives them a direction in life.

The university has a list of such courses – BSc in Phy­si­cal Education which is hand­led by the Indira Gandhi Inst­itute of Physical Science and Sports Science, Diploma in Business Journalism and Corporate Communications at Sri Guru Gobind Singh Colle­ge of Commerce, Bachelor’s degree in Library and Information Science and BSc (Hons) in Instrumentation.

Buddhist Studies is also one of the offbeat courses. “It is just like any other departm­ent. Since it is not so popular people tend to term it as an unconventional course,” says KTS Sarao, Head of
the Department.

Years ago the course had the maximum number of foreign students especially from Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Europe and even USA.

“Situation has changed over the years as university has limited the intake of foreign students to only five per cent. Despite the fact that there are 234 seats in the course, we hardly get 60-70 students,” says Sarao.

He doesn’t deny that not many bright students are part of this course. Ironically, a ma­­­jority of these seats, barr­ing foreign students, are filled by students who want to continue with
university politics.

“Unfortunately, the dep­a­­r­­t­ment was affiliated to DUSU some 20 years ago. Gen­erally it is optional for departments and colleges to be part of the students’ union. Since then, students who wa­nt to take politics as their career and are not academically bright take up this course.”

However, the situation is totally different in Library and Information Sciences
cou­rse.

For the 62 seats in undergraduate programme, 700 to 800 applications have been received.

Dr Shailendra Kumar, Head of the Department, says, “Graduates in any stre­am can apply for this course. The course is not just about library administration but providing digital information to users online. We also abs­tract and index the information for the users.”

He calls it a challenging course because “we handle data which is available on internet, collect information on the demand of the user, package and consolidate it.

In sho­rt, we provide bibliography and reviews. There is an­­­­o­­­­ther important aspect of this cou­rse – we study the data which is used in the field of astronomy and try to retrieve it,” says Kumar. The department also offers post-graduation and doctorate.

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