Delhi University Colleges See Increased Interest in BA (Hons) Philosophy
Delhi University colleges have seen increased interest in BA (Honors) philosophy this year, with nearly half of the colleges offering the course seeing places fill in the unreserved category in the first list itself. even, which has not happened in previous years. Principals and college teachers attributed the increase in popularity of the course to lower thresholds, increased interest in the topic due to the uncertain situation in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, and the course being the cornerstone of the pursuit of other areas like UPSC and the law.
Of the 15 colleges that offer the course, seven have filled their places for the no-reservation category in the first list itself. These not only include top colleges like Miranda House, which has also held seats for migrants from Kashmir, ST and OBC categories, Hindu College, Lady Shri Ram, but even off-campus ones like Lakshmibai. College and Shyama Prasad Mukherji College.
Dr Bijaylakshmi Nanda, Director of Miranda House, said: “Classes like Political Science (with distinction) fill up quite quickly at high percentages. The BA (Honors) philosophy is a choice for students with slightly lower grades, in the range of 95-98 percent, and who can get into a good university. The subject is also gaining momentum and it is a subject that you can opt for even if you haven’t studied it sooner. The college had set a threshold of 97.50 percent in the first list and has now closed admissions for the course.
Dr Balaganapathi Deverakonda, a professor in the philosophy department, said they have been working to popularize the course for four to five years and during the pandemic many colleges have held events on the importance of philosophy. “Not just yoga and meditation, but we are working to popularize other concepts. I think these efforts have paid off. In fact, some colleges have indicated that they have occupied 90 percent of the seats on the first list itself, ”he said.
Dr Vijay Kumar, assistant professor at Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, said that they had occupied almost 60% of the places for the course and that it was possible that they were completely filled in the second list. The college has already closed admissions for the unqualified category in the first list. “During the pandemic, people developed an interest in whether the pandemic was natural or man-made and they also developed a philosophical orientation due to the uncertainties posed by the situation. Philosophy is an increasingly popular subject. There is a lot of talk about values education and there is an increase in career prospects.
“First, you can prepare for UPSC and that’s a good topic. In the UPSC interview, the questions are aimed at testing students’ mental bandwidth and logical thinking is very helpful. In higher education you can enter the teaching stream and even research organizations are looking for people with a good philosophical background and a doctorate, ”he said. In a new trend, some private hospitals have started to hire philosophical counselors to advise patients and families, he added.
Dr Babli Moitra Saraf, director of Indraprastha College For Women, said the slightly lower cutoffs could be a reason for the increased popularity of the course. The college has filled its places in the unreserved category for the course. Its threshold was 93 percent, while other popular courses like BA (Honors) Political Science and BA (Honors) Economics stood at 97.5 percent and 98 percent respectively. “The students started to realize that this is a foundational course that helps them in all disciplines, for example law which is closely related to philosophy. It’s a very, very positive development (increased interest in the subject), ”she added.
The course is still open at Dyal Singh College, Gargi College, Hansraj College, Janki Devi Memorial College, Mata Sundri College, Ramanujan College and Zakir Husain College in the second selection list. Of these, Hansraj and Gargi colleges have a threshold of 96.75 percent and 96 percent for the course, Kamala Nehru, Dyal Singh and Zakir Husain colleges have a threshold of 93 percent for the course. Ramanujan College set the minimum grade requirement at 92 percent, while Janki Devi Memorial College demanded a 90 percent grade. Mata Sundri College has the lowest threshold at 83 percent.