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HindustanTimes Mon,28 Jul 2014

‘Innovative’ courses at Panjab University find few takers

Surender Sharma , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, June 18, 2014
First Published: 11:53 IST(18/6/2014) | Last Updated: 11:59 IST(18/6/2014)

A number of courses started by Panjab University (PU) are yet to gain traction. Though they have been around for five years now, the number of students applying for these “innovative” courses has been going down. To make matters worse for colleges as well as aspirants, the varsity has been offering admission to these programmes through entrance tests.

Currently, three courses - MBA Commerce & Information Technology (MBACIT), Master of Entrepreneurship and Family Business (MEFB) and MCom (Business Innovation) are being run as innovative courses. MBACIT is offered by MTSM College for Women, Ludhiana, with 80 seats; MEFB by SD College, Sector 32, Chandigarh, with 40 seats and MCom (Business Innovation) by SCD Government College, Ludhiana, with an intake of 40 seats.

Blaming the university for the gradually decreasing number of admissions to these courses, PU senator Jagwant Singh said: “Last year the PU administration agreed in principle not to conduct entrance exams for innovative courses. Despite that, the university is continuing with common entrance tests.”

This year 83 candidates have applied for the MBACIT course as compared to 82 last year. In the case of MEFB, there are only 35 candidates in the current year as against 45 last year. For MCom (Business Innovation), 166 have applied this year as against 298 last year.

The number of applicants has gone down in almost all courses with only 35 candidates applying for the 40 seats in the MEFB course.

Also, those who have appeared for the entrance examination will have to secure at least 20% marks to be eligible. “As the number of seats are more than the qualifying candidates in some cases, the colleges approach PU every year to allow admissions without any test and they are obliged without any conditions,” Singh said, adding that this made a “mockery” of the entrance tests.

The interdisciplinary courses were started around five years ago with push from University Grants Commission. However, PU failed to give the requisite thrust to run the course and the number of applicants has steadily dwindled.

“There shouldn’t be an entrance test and people should get to know about these courses,” Singh added.

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