Is there a way
of adding value to a Bachelors degree in
economics from the point of view of all the
various constituents who have a stake in it?
To do so would mean addressing the needs of
the three main constituents
Students (and maybe parents when it is
they who make decisions on the courses
for their wards) who need to choose the
course the want
Colleges that offers the Bachelors in
- Employers who expect to hire people with a good set of skills and abilities,
and making a B.A. in economics highly desirable for all of them.
Here's an idea:
The institution turns publisher/consulting firm for local businesses and publishes a survey of the local economy and undertakes commissioned market surveys/studies and creates a new revenue stream for itself.
The students who opt for the B.A. Economics course go through a three step process, in addition to their regular course work, during their three years of study.
- First Year Students: Will collect the raw data and do a lot of field work and learn about data collection techniques, how to pose the right questions, how to ensure quality control in data collection and so on
- Second Year Students: Will analyse and interpret the data collected by the First Year Students to discern patterns/trends and arrive at conclusions about the local economy andr prepare commissioned reports for local businesses. They will learn analytical skills.
- Third Year Students: will publish an annual branded product (print+CD-ROM+Internet) and market it to make the product a revenue earner for their college. The students will learn how to package, price, promote and market the product on a commercial basis. They also learn to go and pitch to local businesses to do consulting work for them (generating customised reports and studies) and negotiate a fee for it.
The faculty will guide the Third Year Students who will in turn guide the Second Year Students, who will in turn guide the First Year Students.
- The colleges open up a new source of revenue at zero or minimal cost (the students do all the work as part of their course work and don't get paid anything extra)
- The colleges create a brand and raise their profile in the community
- The students learn skills to seek and gather information, analyse and interpret the information and finally to package and market it as products of value to people to who would be willing to pay for it. These are precisely the skills that employers would be looking for and every student is trained in all of the above over the three years of their course. This makes the students highly desirable in the eyes of potential employers.
- The students learn how to work in a team and assign work to others, set standards and work towards a common goal of putting out a product. The product will be a tangible symbol of achievement for all.
- The employer community will have access to a large pool of trained people each year, with a set of skills backed by the experience of having dealt with the market.
- Local businesses will have access to a research and consulting firm (the local college) capable of providing relvant, high quality data and reports in a timely manner at a reasonable cost
My daughter is studying her Plus One course with commerce, accountancy and economics as the key subjects. She wants to pursue economics as part of her higher studies. Kindly give us the list of institutions that offer five-year integrated Master's degree programme in economics.
JOHN THARAKAN, MUSCAT
Only a few institutions in India offer an integrated five-year Master's degree course in economics. The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) under the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras offers a unique and innovative five-year Master's programme for meritorious Plus Two students leading to a Master's degree in three disciplines: economics, development studies and English studies.
With the launch of this programme from 2006-07, IIT Madras has succeeded in fulfilling its larger role of providing higher education in liberal arts and social sciences in the country. This has opened up newer avenues for highly-motivated students to enter into institutions of good repute.
By imparting quality education through this programme, the institute aims at producing well-trained professionals in humanities and social sciences.
The distinctive feature of this programme is that it allows students to choose their disciplines after getting a wide exposure to Humanities and social sciences.
During the first two years, students are be introduced to variety of common subjects related to all the three major disciplines offered from the third year. These common subjects are meant to develop both student appreciation of the multidisciplinary nature of the fundamental concepts in humanities and social sciences and to enable them to appropriately choose their professional disciplines.
A brief description of each component of the programme is given below:
This discipline will provide a rigorous training in economic theory and applications, relevant quantitative, statistical and computing skills. Further, it will provide an exposure to other areas such as psychology, sociology, philosophy, history, languages, communications and literary skills and the much needed breadth and multidisciplinary perspective. Through dissertation and elective courses, students will have the scope to specialise in areas such as education, health care, environment, banking, international trade and finance.
Students who successfully complete the course would be suitable for a career in academia, government industry and national and international organisation of repute.
This discipline attempts to include issues related to development across countries over a long periods of time. This programme includes three thematic modules on gender, science, technology and development and urbanisation. Students will have the scope to further specialise in any of these three themes through dissertations and elective courses.
Overall, this stream, with a mixture of taught courses and field research/ training attempts to mould students to act as effective agents of social change, especially in a globalised world. Students of these discipline are expected to be placed in national and international development institutions or in the academic field.
This discipline has been designed for students who have the aptitude and the sensitivity for literary and linguistic analyses. This programme will provide a comprehensive understanding of literature in English with special emphasis on current debates in literary theory, lesser known literatures and the importance of an interdisciplinary approach.
Courses in linguistics will give students an insight into the structure and functions of natural languages as systems of cognition and communication.
Students will also be exposed to other disciplines such as economics, sociology, history and philosophy that will widen their horizon and equip them with basic quantitative and analytic skills.
Students successfully completing this programme will have a range of career options open to them from academics and editing to journalism and language training.
These programmes impart substantial knowledge of Indian economy, literature, philosophy, culture, society and public management and it provides opportunities for learning a foreign languages. Currently German and French languages are offered. Students should complete 195 credits spread over five years to earn their MA degree.
Admission to the programme is through Humanities and Social Sciences Entrance Examination (HSEE) conducted by the IIT Madras.
The programme has a total of 46 seats in all the three disciplines put together. Allocation of seats to individual disciplines will be made at the end of the third semester, based on students' performance.
Students admitted to the course should pay a semester fee of Rs.6,150, caution deposit Rs.2,000 and one-time payment of Rs.1,750.
All these fee are subject to variation from time to time. The tuition fee for foreign students is $2,000 per semester.
The test consists of one objective type multiple- choice question paper of three-hour duration in English and comprehension skill, analytical and quantitative ability and general knowledge covering the areas of Indian economy (since Independence), Indian society, contemporary world affairs (post World War II) and environment and ecology. HSEE will be conducted in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Coimbatore, Madurai, Chennai, Trichy, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata.
Eligibility: The minimum eligibility for appearing HSEE is a pass in Plus Two (equivalent examination) with at least 60 per cent marks in aggregate. SC/ ST / physically challenged students require at least 55 per cent marks in the qualifying examination.
Final year Plus Two students may also appear in the entrance test. The HSEE notification can be expected during December/ January every year. The entrance examination may be held during May. More details can be had from the website http://hsee.iitm.ac.in. Address: The Chairman, HSEE, JEE Office, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai – 600036, Phone 044- 22578220.
The Central University of Karnataka offers five-year integrated MA/ M.Sc. programmes in economics, history, geography, psychology and English (with option to exit after three years at the BA Hons. Level). Intake 30 seats in each subject (www.cuk.ac.in).
The University of Hyderabad offers a five-year integrated MA/ MS course in science, humanities and social sciences subjects for students who have passed their Plus Two examination. The selection is based on an entrance test. Website: www.uohyd.ernet.in.
Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar, Tamil Nadu, offers five-year integrated MA in applied economics, English communication, history, political science, applied sociology, population and development, and rural management. Meritorious students who have passed their Plus Two exams can apply for admission.
Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappally- 620024, offers five-year integrated MA/ M.Sc. programmes in history, geosciences and media and communication. Meritorious Plus Two students in any group are eligible for admission. Website: www.bdu.ac.in.
The Gandhigram Rural Institute (Deemed University), Gandhigram, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, offers five-year integrated programme in MA development administration for students who have passed their Plus Two examinations. Website: www.ruraluniv.ac.in.
Courtesy: GOPAKUMAR KARAKONAM / The Hindu