After making a small start last year with the launch of a postgraduate diploma programme in development studies, Ambedkar University, Delhi, is now set to take another step towards achieving its academic vision.
The varsity will launch three new masters programmes — development studies, psychology and environment and development — with not more than 30 students for each. There are, currently, 12 students pursuing a PG diploma in development studies.
“The announcement will be made on May 28, the day of the Ambedkar Lecture. Our semester system is quite similar to that of Jawaharlal Nehru University and the first semester will begin in August,” said vice-chancellor Shyam Menon.
Students hoping to secure a seat in the programmes will have to appear for an entrance test and a subsequent interview.
Unlike other varsities in the Capital, Ambedkar University will not conduct examinations at the end of every semester. It will evaluate students on the basis of group projects, term papers and dissertations submitted during the semester.
“This is how all the well known universities across the world function. And it seems to have worked well. It’s just Indian varsities that insist on semester-end examinations, but we want to steer clear of that,” added Menon.
Ambedkar University will offer scholarships based on merit and even full or partial fee waivers to students admitted from economically
disadvantaged backgrounds. “But students have to perform in order to continue getting the scholarships,” he said.
The School of Development Studies is the only established school in the varsity, which is currently functioning out of a temporary campus at Dwarka. By 2013, the Menon hopes to have student strength of 4,000 (of which 1,200 will be residents) and 15 interdisciplinary schools and centres.