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English honours, a complete package

Dr DD Chaturvedi, renowned author and career expert shares career prospects and benefits for students taking up English Honours in an interview with Dipali Mathur.
By Dipali Mathur | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 27, 2008 11:35 AM IST

Dr DD Chaturvedi, renowned author and career expert shares career prospects and benefits for students taking up English Honours in an interview with Dipali Mathur.

Do you feel that the students taking up English Honours are truly dedicated or seem to have taken it up as a backup option?
There is usually a craze amongst students for particular courses. They do not fully understand what a course inculcates but just swim along with the tide. English and Economics Honours, in my opinion, are both a part of this popularity contest.

What are the qualities and attributes that you would look for in students who are applying for this course?
Some of the important attributes that I would look for would be good communication skills, they should be bookworms to an extent, have a taste to study literature, prose and poetry. Such persons are different from others in the sense that they are usually introverted at the initial stages. However, I feel that the course helps them to grow in such a manner that by the end of this 3-year course they become extroverts.
In terms of personality development, I feel this course contributes to individuals in a big way. It enables those introverts to gain confidence through the sharpening of the ability to express their thoughts and feelings. At times people are unable to express themselves due to the lack of language skills and without these basic skills they often hesitate to interact. So I feel this is another positive addition that the course offers to the students.

What is your opinion on the recent decision to do away with entrance tests for admission into English Honours?
This decision was made out of compulsion. Till now, certain colleges admitted students on the basis of their 12th board results while others held their own entrance tests. There was no coordination amongst the various colleges. Individual entrance tests were creating a panic-situation for the students, both financially as well as mentally.

Apart from that students had to spend extra time, at least ten half days appearing for these tests. In my opinion, either there should be a joint decision on the part of Delhi University and various colleges to hold a common entrance test for English Honours otherwise; there should not be any. Same is the case with interviews. The decision to admit students into this course should solely depend upon their board results.


Do you feel that the present course matter is adequate? If not, in what way should it be revised?
There is a need for modification in every course. This is happening in IP University. There should be a constant process of revision. In Delhi University, however, this had not been happening, till recently. A lot of changes have taken place but there is always scope for more improvement with greater frequency. In case of certain courses, the process of change is very slow. Frequent changes and updates should be a regular feature of Economics Honours as well.

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