Delhi University topper in BA economics Arpita Saluja (with 86.7 per cent aggregate) had science till Class XII, but opted for economics honours in Miranda House when she realised engineering was not her calling.
“Though I scored 91.2 per cent in Class XII, I didn’t want to continue with study and did not appear for even a single entrance exam for engineering colleges,” says Saluja.
Anuja Khanna, the second ranker with 84.2 per cent aggregate also has a similar story. “I had not studied economics in school but that’s not a prerequisite for BA,” she says.
Choice of subjects
“Earlier (before 2005), all subjects used to be compulsory but now, one can pick and choose the subjects one is interested in. This has made it easier for us to score good marks,” says Dr Ravinder Jha, head of the economics department, Miranda House.
The optional subject one can choose include economic tricks, money, game theory, advanced micro economics and public finance while the compulsory subjects are development theory and experience and economics: state and society.
The study of economics is made easier if one understands the fundamentals of mathematics, says Khanna. “We have to use calculus and integration; and mathematics applications are used for both micro and macro economics,” she says.
In agreement with Khanna, the head of department of economics, Delhi University, Prof BL Pandit says, “The internal assessment tests have led to improved scores. Earlier, students used to write the final exams straightaway after attending lectures for seven-to-eight months. But now when they appear for the final exams, it is a kind of second attempt after the internal exams.”
Topper’s mantra: be interested
For maximum scores one must enjoy studying the subject, says Khanna. “You take economics only when you like the subjects, you should never think that economics is not scoring. Almost half of my class got first division,” she says. It was only her deep interest in the subject that propelled her towards a Master’s degree in economics. Khanna is now a student of MA (economics) at the Delhi School of Economics.
Saluja also owes her success to her love for economics. “I used to wonder how, in every small thing around us, there is some application of the principles of economics,” she says.
Khanna advises students to be regular in classes and follow this up with uninterrupted study of three-to-four hours at home to ace the subject. If you do that, you won’t need to attend any coaching classes. When you enter final year, you must perfect time management as you prepare for exams and entrance tests.
Both Khanna and Saluja are open to a career in teaching or research, though they haven’t taken a final decision on this as yet.