From 2021, University of Delhi (DU) is said to offer Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science as per the approval received by the University Grant Commission (UGC). The course is set to create 144 undergraduate seats. 

The recent wave of environmental consciousness and the appreciation of environmental sciences worldwide has hit the University of Delhi as well. 

University Grants Commission (UGC) had given green lights earlier to the course, and now has decided to implement the same in colleges from the next year onwards.

Professor Radhey Shyam Sharma from the Department of Environmental Science, University of Delhi (DU) said, “Six colleges under the varsity have given the nod to implement the course while many others have shown interest.”

With soaring cut-offs, the dream of many to be part of University of Delhi is often broken, however, this course is said to generate over 140 seats. 

As the mathematics of it goes, each college out of the six, where the course has been passed to be implemented, is expected to offer at least 24 to a maximum of 32 seats for the course, which means that at least 144 new undergraduate seats will be created from the next admission cycle. The course further will be implemented to more colleges and will be the biggest addition in undergraduate seats since the past many years. 

Currently the Department of Environmental Science offers these course: 

  1. AECC-1 EVS, compulsory course in undergraduate courses which is a one semester, or six-months course. 
  2. M.A./M.Sc. Environmental Science 
  3. PhD in Environmental Science 

As per the UGC guidelines, structure of the undergraduate course will be: 

 The three-year course will have 140 credits spread over 26 papers. Students will have to pass eight electives and four ability-enhancement courses. Of the latter, two will be skill enhancement papers in the entire six-semester duration, as per UGC guidelines.

However, one big aspect of the implementation isn’t decided yet, which is the selection process. 

Admission to most courses is done on merit basis, as per the ‘Best of Four’ achieved by the students in their class 12th. It is necessary to include that subject which is sought for an honours programme, in the Best of Four.

For example, for admission in B.A. (Honours) Political Science, it’s imperative to have Political Science in your ‘Best of Four’, otherwise the candidate may suffer reduction in cut-off, as the 2.5% reduction penalty is imposed. 

However, this might not be possible in the case of B. Sc. (Honours) Environmental Studies since most schools do not offer the subject at class 12 level. The similar problem is faced by many students with Philosophy Honours, as philosophy isn’t tutored in many schools of Delhi, and CBSE in general.

Schools under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) do not have Environmental Studies (EVS) even as an elective in their class 12 curriculum. And generally, most students in DU come from CBSE, than state boards. In DU Admissions 2019 as well, a total of 2.70 lakh students applied for admissions at undergraduate courses in DU, of which 2 lakh were from CBSE-affiliated schools.

Other that the best of four aspect, EVS is taught in many schools up to 8th class. This already troubles the students to reconnect with the AECC EVS Exam as being away from the subject for too long hampers their technical connect. Hence, it is important that in today’s age and time EVS should be recognised as a subject in CBSE first. 

Answers to many questions like whether there will be merit-based selection or entrance based, will EVS be needed in best of four? Will new professors for the course be appointed? remain yet unanswered. A formal notification is awaited. 

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Chhavi Bahmba 

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