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Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

For Four Years in India

For those familiar with the system of undergraduate education in India, they are aware of it being out of sync with the system of Bachelor degrees prevalent in the USA or Canada. Both General and Honours degrees in India are three-year programs, with mandatory, pre-designed structured courses. The Indian undergraduate programs are not set up to train one for the job market. They are heavily laden with theoretical knowledge, without much practical experience or specialization. Fact is, a graduating student has a very tough time to find a good job with only an undergraduate degree in hand, even in India.

It’s thus little surprise that so many Indian students apply for Masters programs or professional courses to before even looking for a job. For those Indians wishing to do a Masters or professional course in North America, many have to spend at least one year in a bridging course.

The recent proposal of the Delhi University to introduce a four year undergraduate course is a first step to walk in step with North American post-secondary education norms. It aims to allow the students to make better informed future study choices with exposure to inter-disciplinary courses and to discover an aptitude before going in for a specialization. It will also provide the flexibility that the student must be provided with to integrate education and skill.

The proposal was received with mixed reactions from Indian academic circles. Many are skeptical given the infrastructure crunch at Delhi universities, which is already overburdened with reforms. Still, the idea has gained much wide acceptance and may be particularly beneficial for those students who aspire to pursue education abroad, but feel at a loss for no fault of theirs.

Author, Anjali Anand Seth

Anjali Anand Seth, Manager of the Canadian University Application Centre (CUAC) Gurgaon office, holds a M.Phil in International Organisations, from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Bachelor and Masters degrees in Political Science from Delhi University.

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