Admissions for courses in Gandhian studies see an increase 

‘The course on peace and conflict resolution is recognized internationally and students get jobs in government sector, peace organisations, and NGOs’

October 01, 2022 09:53 pm | Updated 11:35 pm IST - Bengaluru/Mysuru

The Centre for Gandhian Studies at Gandhi Bhavan offers an MA in Peace and Conflict Resolution, Diploma in Gandhian Studies, and PhD in Gandhian Studies. 

The Centre for Gandhian Studies at Gandhi Bhavan offers an MA in Peace and Conflict Resolution, Diploma in Gandhian Studies, and PhD in Gandhian Studies. 

It might be the 153rd Gandhi Jayanthi celebrations this year, but those who follow in his footsteps and read about his life say that his thoughts and principles have always remained relevant.

“My mother was a history teacher and we used to have a lot of discussions about Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar in our home. This prompted me to take up Gandhian Studies as an open elective during my postgraduation. I discovered a completely new perspective of Gandhiji through the course and why he put forth schemes like Nai Thaleem and Gramodyoga yojana,” said Harshitha Urs, an English lecturer at Mount Carmel College.

She studied Gandhian studies in Bangalore University between 2015 and 2017. She added that her knowledge about Gandhiji from the course helps her when she is teaching women empowerment. “Instead of commenting negatively about Gandhiji, one should step into his shoes and think about his situation,” she said.

Gandhi Bhavan

Around 70 to 100 people used to visit the Gandhi Bhavan at Bangalore University for their degree courses or open elective studies. However, as the numbers decreased, the degree course was scrapped around three years ago, and the subject was kept as an open elective only for postgraduation students. Today, only 10 to 12 students visit the centre every year.  

“We have opened a Centre for Gandhian Studies at every college under BU and we have covered almost 70% of colleges. The rest will get them soon. Even if they do not come to Gandhi Bhavan, many events around Gandhi’s life and teachings are frequently organised at these centres,” said Nataraj Huliyar, Director of Centre for Gandhian Studies.  

Courses in Gandhian studies

On the other hand, at one of the oldest centers on Gandhiji, in the century-old University of Mysore (UoM) in Manasagangotri campus, admissions for courses offered on Gandhian studies at Gandhi Bhavan — one of the country’s foremost institutions established for spreading the message of Mahatma Gandhi in 1965 — has seen a marginal rise.

The Centre for Gandhian Studies at Gandhi Bhavan offers an MA in Peace and Conflict Resolution (PCR), Diploma in Gandhian Studies, and also PhD programme in Gandhian Studies. The intake of seats for MA and diploma programmes is 21 and 14 respectively. Though admissions are less than the intake, the number of admissions has improved. 

Last year, 17 students took admission for MA while 12 opted for the diploma course. In 2020, the admission for MA was 12 and diploma, 6. The seat intake was more earlier but was reduced owing to a fall in admissions. 

Gandhi Bhavan is hoping for a rise in admissions in 2022-23. 

Peace and conflict resolution

“The courses that promise jobs are in demand and attract students. Those who wish to know more about Gandhiji and his principles come to us for admissions. The course on peace and conflict resolution is recognized internationally and students get jobs in the government sector, peace organisations and NGOs. Every year, a couple of foreign students take admission to the PCR course,” said Gandhi Bhavan Director M. Shankara.

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