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Programme vs Honours debate

With the date of the Delhi University’s first cut-off list round the corner, Vaibhav Kapoor (18), an applicant who scored 87.6 per cent in the Board examination, is in two minds.

delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2010 23:47 IST
Astha Saxena

With the date of the Delhi University’s first cut-off list round the corner, Vaibhav Kapoor (18), an applicant who scored 87.6 per cent in the Board examination, is in two minds.

Course highlights

* BCom (Pass) was transformed to the BCom (Programme) three years ago.
* Earlier, there were 12 papers in BCom (Pass). The new Programme course has 16 papers.
* BCom Programme and BCom (Honours) have similar subjects such as Business and Organisation Management, Financial Accountancy, Business Mathematics and Income Tax.
* Career options such as MBA, CA , CS, CWA, Investment Banking, Taxation, Forensic Accounting
* BA (Pass) changed to B.A (Programme) in the year 2004.
* Earlier it had only two languages and two discipline courses such as Political Science, Economics, English and Hindi.
* Foundation and application courses have now been added to the syllabus of BA (Programme)
* Students pursuing BA (Programme) can go for Teaching, MBA, Mass Communication, Tourism, Civil Services and many more.
* Last year cut-offs for BA (Programme): 90.5 per cent in Hindu; 88 per cent in St. Stephen’s; 7.5 per cent in Hansraj; 82 per cent in Kirori Mal College
* Last year cut-offs for BCom (Programme): 92.25 in Jesus and Mary; 91.25 per cent in Kirori Mal College; 91.5 per cent in Sri Venkateshwara; 92 per cent in Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College

Being a commerce student, Kapoor’s first choice is BCom (H). “I wanted to pursue BCom (H) but after my Class XII result, I don’t think I will be able to make it. I’m not sure if I should go for BCom (Programme) instead”, Kapoor said.

The varsity’s first cut-off list will be out on June 22. Councellors have been flooded with questions from students who don’t know which course to go for. “A lot of students want to know whether an Honours course is better as compared to a Programme course,” said Suchitra Gupta, deputy dean, Student’s Welfare, DU.

BCom (H) and BCom (Programme) are the two core courses for commerce students. BCom (H) is an extensive course whereas BCom (Programme) will give you a gist of everything. The subjects taught are also similar.

But students are apprehensive about joining the Programme course as they feel it is less prestigious than the honours course. “I would rather go for BSc (H) Mathematics than opting for the BCom (Programme),” said Ayushi Khanna, who scored 89.25 per cent.

The teachers, however, feel that it does not make any difference whether it’s an Honours course or a Programme course. “If a student scores well in the BCom (Programme), he/ she is at the par with the one who has taken up the BCom (H) course”, said Dr Jyoti Dhawan, associate professor, Department of Commerce, Kamala Nehru College.

While students feel that pursuing a Programme course would shut the doors on wide career options, teachers disagree. “The career options for the BCom (H) as well as the Programme students are similar. The students can pursue a Masters in Business Administrations (MBA), Chartered Accountancy (CA), Company Secretary (CS), among others,” said Dr S.S. Sareen, associate professor, Department of Commerce, Shaheed Bhagat Singh College.

The Pass course had not been revised for last 25 years and the number of papers was also less as compared to B Com (H). Students pursuing the Programme course are also among the high scorers. “We get students in the BA (Programme) with much higher percentage than BA (H)”, said Jitender Gill, reader, Department of English, Janki Devi Memorial College. “Students taking up the BA (Programme) are not losing out at all,” she added.