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Universities offering new, modified courses for evolving job market
Sunday June 9, 2013 12:15 PM, Arkina Singh & Venkatesan Parthasarathy, IANS

Social sciences, business management and animation are some of the many new courses that have been introduced or modified by Indian universities - both private and state-run for the academic session beginning July keeping in mind evolving trends and emerging disciplines in the job market.

First and foremost is the prestigious Delhi University (DU), which for the first ever is set to introduce a completely new undergraduate programme with a duration of four years as against the existing three years.

Under this, 26 new subjects will be introduced, taking the total number of courses to 54. Among them Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) - which will be offered by 13 colleges - has become quite popular among students.

"Though there is some doubts over the new curriculum, I am confident of the course itself as it comes under the direct purview of the Faculty of Managment Studies. BMS is highly regarded and thus I need not worry about the uncertainties of the new course," Madhavi Singh, an aspirant for the course, told IANS.

Officials said the BMS course, alongwith the existing B. Com (Hons) course that too is quite popular, will greatly benefit commerce students.

"Courses like BMS are being introduced due to market conditions and to make students more employable," Poonam Verma, principal of Saheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS), told IANS.

Apart from DU, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), one of India's oldest universities, has also restructured two of its courses - Master's in Development Communication and Master's in Visual Effects and Animation. They were earlier being offered as diplomas and have now been upgraded.

"A degree course offers in-depth knowledge as compared to a diploma. the new introductions are motivated by the great demand in the corporate sector, the social sector and even by the UN agencies," M. Obaid Siddiqui, director, AJK Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia, told IANS.

"We are the only central university offering this option," he added.

Legal education, too, seem to be undergoing a reform with the usual two-year LLM programme being pruned to a one-year course at Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) at O.P. Jindal Global University at Sonepat in Haryana.

"Most universities abroad offer a one-year LLM programme. We have shortened the duration so that students can get more exposure by learning on the job," said Sridhar Patnaik, director of the Center for Post-graduate Legal Studies, JGLS.

The change, said Patnaik, was necessary to keep up with the globalisation in the contemporary legal field.

Catering to humanities' students, the Shiv Nadar University (SNU) at Gautam Budh Nagar adjoining Delhi, has launched two bachelors' programme in history and sociology and the response has been overwhelming.

"The response to these programs has been very encouraging. We have had many prospective students reaching out to us enquiring about our new courses," Kapil Gaba, head of admissions at SNU, told IANS.

The country's largest distance education provider, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, has launched multiple new programmes in tourism, computers, retail management and fashion merchandising, et al.

In addition, diploma courses in food science, technology and plantation management and agriculture are also on offer.

Explaining the rationale behind introducing new courses, IGNOU Vice Chancellor M. Aslam told IANS, "We introduce our courses based on the need assessment which do every now and then. We also take into consideration various factors, including the attractiveness of the courses and their impact on society."

"Flexibility and innovativeness are key pointers for us when it comes to fulfilling the demands of modern-day society," he added.

Indeed, universities are on the constant lookout for upcoming and emerging trends in the academic field and do respond to the challenges.

(Arkina Singh can be contacted at Arkina98@gmail.com and Venkatesan Parthasarathy can be contacted at 12jsia-vvparthasarathy@jgu.edu.in)

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