Are you a medicine student with a deep interest in hospital administration? Or are you studying to be a nurse, but are also fascinated by media? If yes, then there is good news for you. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (Ignou) is set to launch a scheme under which students will get a chance to choose a combination of subjects, which suit their skills as well as secondary interests.
“A unique paper-wise registration scheme will be launched shortly where anyone can register for any number of subjects from Ignou programmes without the restrictions of age and knowledge of the subject,” says Pankaj Khare, registrar of the students registration division at Ignou.
This means, if a student wants to study for just the public relations paper from a full-fledged PG diploma in journalism and mass communication programme containing four papers, he/she can choose to take examination for just that particular paper.
All students need to do is pay a course registration fee and fulfil the basic minimum eligibility criteria.
After clearing the paper, the candidate is eligible for a separate certificate in that paper. “This will not only cater to the interest of students, but will also increase their chances of getting a job. In today’s scenario, candidates who have multiple skills are preferred over others. Having knowledge of more fields also boosts a candidate’s self-confidence,” adds Khare.
Aimed at imparting basic knowledge to students in specific areas and helping them boost their job prospects, some Delhi University colleges also offer add-on courses in fields such as nanotechnology, travel and tourism, biotechnology, forensic science and capital market.
“These courses are a good way of helping students get some basic understanding of the subjects and give them an idea about the various fields. Ignou’s plan to allow students to study any subject from any programme will make higher education more flexible. This scheme should be implemented in other universities as well. A number of foreign universities such as Cambridge and Columbia follow similar methods. However, students should think hard before taking up any paper. It’s important to choose subjects which are inter-related and which will lead to better prospects,” says Vinay Shrivastav, principal, Hindu College, DU.
Students say this will help them in the long run. “The move will give us the flexibility to learn the basics of a subject irrespective of our previous educational background or stream. Some students may want to take up a course just to get the basic knowledge, while others may want to pursue it to add value to their CV. My current course in creative writing at Ignou helped me hone my writing skills and was like an add-on to my PG diploma in journalism. Once this initiative is implemented, I may look at registering for papers in advertising and publishing before applying for jobs in related companies,” says Arti Rai, who is pursuing a diploma in English creative writing from Ignou.
Initially meant for distance learning students, the scheme is expected to benefit regular students as well in a few years.