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The most humane of the sciences

Anthropology is taught in around 30 universities across the country. The course offered in the Department of Anthropology in University of Delhi is BSc (Hons), which requires the student to have Physics, Chemistry and Biology in their 12th.

delhi Updated: Jun 08, 2009 00:11 IST
PC Joshi

Anthropology is taught in around 30 universities across the country.

The course offered in the Department of Anthropology in University of Delhi is BSc (Hons), which requires the student to have Physics, Chemistry and Biology in their 12th.

Students are enrolled in Hans Raj College and classes are held in the department of Anthropology. The intake capacity for the course is 20.

What it takes

Although a background in science is essential for undertaking this subject, students should also have a good vocabulary and ability to write well.

As Anthropology studies humans in totality, it combines the past, present, modern, pre-modern, biological, social, cultural, clinical and traditional dimensions of mankind under its scope.

It has been said that Anthropology as a subject is the most scientific of the humanities and most humane of the sciences.

What’s on offer

The three year B Sc (Hons) course is quite rigorous.

Various papers that are taught in DU are on Biological Anthropology, Social Anthropology, Social Institutions, Prehistoric Archaeology, Human Genetics, Human Ecology, Ethnic and Cultural Diversity, Primatology, Tribes and Peasantry, etc.

All these courses have practicals based on prehistoric tools, Anthropometry, Dermatoglyphics, Primatology, serology, social research.

Every year, the students study the problems of contemporary relevance.

In first year, the students study various social problems and submit their findings in the given format.

In second year, they study prehistoric sites and write a report based on their findings.

In third year, the students go to a rural or tribal village where they stay for two weeks and based on their findings prepare a dissertation on the bio-cultural dimension of the population.

Career options

Academic options for anthropology graduates are to pursue post-graduation in anthropology, sociology, social work, management, mass communication, criminology, forensic science, environmental science, development studies or other specialisations emphasising community-level work.

The career opportunities multiply after a PG degree. Post-graduate and doctoral anthropology students are much sought after in many government departments like Anthropological Survey of India, Forensic Science Laboratories, Census of India, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Indian council of Medical Research, etc.

The exposure anthropology students gain from field work in rural and tribal communities comes very handy in getting jobs in international organisations like World Bank, the UNESCO and other UN bodies.

PC Joshi is professor, Dept of Anthropology, DU