More and more students are joining science courses at the undergraduate level in government colleges across Karnataka and the number has almost doubled over the last five years.
The number of students who enrol in science courses, however, is still lower than that for arts and commerce programmes. Nonetheless, the increase in enrolment for science courses is a positive trend at a time of fears that interest in pure science studies is declining.
In the last five years, the number of students pursuing science courses at 362 government degree colleges in Karnataka grew slowly but surely. In the academic year 2010-11, the number of students who opted for science was 15,961. It almost doubled (30,446) by 2014-15, statistics provided by the Department of Collegiate Education (DCE) show.
Arts no doubt had the highest number of students among the three streams in the last five years, but in terms of yearly growth, statistics show a different trend.
For example, between 2010 and 2013, enrolments in arts stagnated at 1.11 lakhs to 1.17 lakhs and then suddenly shot up to 1.40 lakhs in 2013 and 2014.
Over the past few years, the trend of students opting for commerce courses is gaining popularity when compared with the other two streams. As many as 80,423 students enrolled for commerce courses in 2010 and the number jumped to one lakh in 2013. The commerce stream is still pre-eminent in terms of the overall yearly growth in enrolment of students. Academicians attribute this trend to more job opportunities in banking, finance, information technology, engineering, manufacturing, e-commerce and start-ups.
Another interesting trend is that more boys opted for commerce courses during the same period while female students went for arts and science streams.
In 2014, the number of boys who opted for arts was 64,516 while that of girls 76,323. In science, there were 10,744 enrolments of boys and 19,702 of girls. In 2010, it was the same trend with 53,785 boys and 58,100 girls opting for arts while as many as 6,176 boys and 9,785 girls opted for science. The total number of enrolments in commerce was 55,725 girls and 66,773 boys. This was the trend in the previous four years too.
An official in the DCE said that enrolments for 2015-16 were ongoing and a clearer picture would emerge once the admissions were over.
Enrolments in degree courses at govt colleges between 2010 and 2014
Year Science Commerce Arts
2014 30,446 1,22,498 1,40,839
2013 27,283 1,08,857 1,43,008
2012 19,058 85,883 1,17,846
2011 17,202 84,517 1,13,846
2010 15,961 80,423 1,11,845