University seeks to adapt principle followed abroad

The Delhi University’s new four-year undergraduate course, an “inter-disciplinary,” approach to higher education, seeks to adapt the, “major/minor” principle followed abroad, but has failed to work out the logistics of such an approach with many colleges, already under-staffed and facing a severe lack of space being forced to pre-decide the minor subjects unlike the blueprint decided by the university while forming the course.

“Admissions of course will be based on the basis of Discipline 1 (major) subjects, but the student will have to specify the Discipline 2 (minor) course that he or she intends to take at the time of admission itself” said Ramjas College vice-principal P.N.Dutta, explaining that this was a step taken to adjust the classrooms and faculty needed to conduct these classes.

“The student of course, is free to change his mind thereafter but we do need an approximate figure to prepare ourselves,” he added. His sentiments were echoed by St. Stephen’s College.

“The choice of the Discipline 2 subjects won’t have anything to do with admissions itself, but we will need to know what subject the students will choose so that we can work out logistics like the number of faculty and classrooms needed for these subjects,” said St. Stephen’s spokesperson Karen Gabrielle.

“We also need to know whether we will need to hire anyone from outside,” she added.

Hindu College and Miranda House will have a list of courses available under Discipline 2 at the time of admissions, so that the student can form an opinion about which subject to choose. “Right now, we have not yet decided whether we will be asking for choice of Discipline 2 at the time of admissions,” said Hindu College principal Pradyum Kumar.

The Discipline 1 and Discipline 2 structure is based on the philosophy that a student should not be limited to the choices he made as a fresher. Likewise, the student also has the choice of opting for any Discipline 2 subjects cutting across streams except for Science. So, a student doing History (Honours) as a Discipline 1subject can choose Economics as a Discipline 2 subject.