Second year students of Lady Shri Ram College have a stream of complaints relating to the lack of choice given between the different inter-disciplinary courses offered by Delhi University. Most of the Honours courses in this college have no say when it comes to which subject they need to opt for, leading to indignation in some students. “We’re being forced to study Environmental History. This really beats the purpose of an ‘inter-disciplinary’ course as we’re still stuck with a subject linked to history. How is this one of the premier colleges of the country when a simple choice offered by the University itself is denied to us?” says Diwita Mathivanan, an angry second year student pursuing History Honours.
This is not just the case with one or two courses. Political Science, Sociology, Psychology and Philosophy Honours students are left with no option but to take up Individual and Society, an English Credit course. “Ideally, we were supposed to be offered a choice between so many subjects, but at the beginning of this semester we were given Individual and Society without any questions asked or opinions taken into consideration,” claims Aarushi Chugh, a second year Sociology student. English is one of the only courses that offers a choice between Gender studies and Philosophy as Individual and Society is a credit course they complete in their first year.
When the teachers were questioned, almost all of them had the same answer. Due to the impossible cut-offs that keep increasing each year, complimented by the equally ridiculous marks doled out by educational systems, the number of students in each course is increasing by a big margin every year. Due to a disproportionate ratio between the faculty available and the students, courses with a larger number of students like History and Political Science are not left with any options for their credit courses.
Another requirement put forward by the teaching staff is that at least one-fourth of the class must be in favour of a particular subject for it to be offered, subject to sufficient availability of teachers. This is leading to the faculty making the decisions themselves and no options are given to the students. There is talk of General Body Meetings being held within the different courses with all the students involved, so that the faculty gets a better idea of what subjects are preferred, but as of now, the students continue to resent the fact that they’re forced to read something which they would rather not spend any time.