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Profit from recalling the past

Students of history develop a certain set of universal skills that are useful in all walks of life.Dr Ujjayini Ray Reports

education Updated: Jul 22, 2009 09:00 IST

History is often perceived to be a boring subject, concerned with memorising names and dates…not cool at all. But to use a cliché, to know the past is to know the present. To study history is to know our past, to learn how humans have evolved, to understand the origins and continuation of many practices, institutions, processes and economies. This knowledge is invaluable as it helps us interpret the present better and provides us with some understanding of the future. Reading history perhaps contributes the most important bit of knowledge during our attempts at self-identification and self-definition. History is thus a field of study/engagement by and in itself. It can also serve as the foundation of specialisation in virtually every other area, as it is, like other social sciences, a training ground for the mind. Students of history develop the ability to think independently and logically, analyse, frame an enquiry, contest and debate coherently, interpret and explain, understand abstract concepts and theories, interpret and analyse data/sources and write and communicate

Career options

Those who study history develop a certain set of universal skills that are useful in all walks of life. They develop thinking, analytical and communicating/writing skills. Once these skills are in place, one can do anything in life. Opportunities and careers open up in all fields – teaching, research, government and private service, law, journalism both electronic and print, non-governmental organisations and the United Nations, museums (curatorship), tourism, etc. Reading about and learning from the past perhaps makes for more liberal and learned parents to the next generation and makes the world a better place to live in.

Skill sets required

n An open, enquiring mind
n Eagerness to learn
n Desire to question

Five best colleges for history in Delhi

n Hindu College
n Indraprastha College
n Lady Shri Ram College
n Ramjas College
n St. Stephens College

Five best colleges for history in India

n Lady Shri Ram College, n Delhi
n Presidency College, Kolkata
n St. Stephen’s College, Delhi
n Visva Bharati, Santiniketan (West Bengal)
n St. Xavier’s, Ranchi

The author is Senior Assistant Professor, Department of History, Lady Shri Ram College, DU