Since the beginning, Economics has been one of the most sought-after courses offered by the Delhi University. However, with its analytical and mathematical content, the subject has become by far, the most rigorous.
The first two semesters form an initiation into the course. The Principles of Economics paper progresses from basic laws of demand and supply to intricate market mechanisms. The other papers like mathematical methods for economics and statistical methods for economics lay the quantitative base, along with three concurrent courses.
In the following semesters, the course has a more theoretical base with intermediate micro and macroeconomics, along with the Economic History of India and India's economic development post-Independence and two concurrent courses. Thereafter, there are two compulsory papers — Economy, State and Society and Development Theory and Experience. Students have the option of choosing four other pure economics papers out of six.
“While the curriculum is manageable, the course is quite tough and not something that you should pursue for glamour value. It is a mix of theory and analysis and provides a holistic insight into several nuances of the subject,” says Anya Thomas, a final-year Economics student at St. Stephen’s College.
As against what is widely believed, the course is very different from what is taught in school. “For a few subjects we were told to unlearn whatever we’d learnt in school. Students should take up the subject only if they have a knack for numbers,” added Thomas.
“The course needs a student to possess a very strong mathematical aptitude. Usually a lot of science students end up doing much better than students with a humanities background. It is not just important to have had mathematics in school, but the student needs to have a knack for it too,” said Saumyajit Bhattacharya, Professor of Economics at Kirori Mal College.
“This year’s course still needs greater clarity from the university. But once a student has done the subject, there are ample opportunities in the field of higher research, which opens up avenues in areas like government policy and development studies. Students can also do an MBA, while some choose to start working directly after college,” added Bhattacharya.
(Mallica Joshi and Shaswati Das)