DU admissions 2019: Miranda House sharpens focus on interdisciplinary research
Known to be the most sought-after college among women candidates applying in Delhi University, Miranda House — which, according to a government ranking, has been declared India’s best college over the last three years — will further strengthen its undergraduate research component with a special focus on interdisciplinary research this year.
The college bagged the first spot among the 1,034 colleges that participated in the 2019 National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for the third consecutive year. Research was one of the many parameters where the college outshone other DU colleges.
“Our college lays emphasis on research and innovation and new pedagogical skills. Over the last year, new science labs and equipment have also come up,” acting principal Bijayalaxmi Nanda said.
It’s improved performance in the research parameter of the NIRF rankings — from 29.78 points in 2018 to 39.24 this year — placed it ahead of other topranking colleges under Delhi University such as Hindu College, St Stephen’s College, Lady Shri Ram College, and Hansraj College.
The college offers approximately 1,100 and 325 seats under the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for various subjects including English, history, political science, sanskrit, sociology, Bengali, economics, geography, Hindi, and philosophy.
Along with this, the college also offers Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees in subjects like
botany, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, physics, and zoology.
Nanda added that this year’s focus would be on further strengthening multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research approaches.
“We had been doing interdisciplinary research between the sciences. For example, physics and zoology would get together and have their conferences. But now, we are focussing on interdisciplinarity in terms of social sciences and humanities joining hands with say chemistry and physics to look at research and pedagogy and how they can carry ideas from one another,” she said.
Currently, the college has a centre that promotes research in science education, development of research-based curriculum, and activity-based science teaching-learning programmes, technologies, and pedagogical tools.
“We are also looking into creating another facility that will be interdisciplinary in its approach and look at undergraduate learning in general,” Nanda added.
Officials also said that students entering the college this session will also be a part of the new peer-based mentoring system that the college plans to initiate.
Though informal mechanisms of support between students were in place, the college plans to formalise it this year. “Young people can support each other for studies and other activities. We are thinking of introducing a certification programme that will institutionalise the peer-monitoring system,” Nanda said.
The college also plans to have an interdisciplinary faculty development programme for members from the sciences, humanities, and social sciences.
“The idea is to see whether they can carry one particular pedagogy. For instance, there is a more empirical approach towards sciences and more normative for humanities,” Nanda said.
“The idea is to see can we have a mixture of both in terms of our understanding of certain issues. For instance, if we look at health, there is an ethical side to it as well. So, one can learn about the scientific bit and the normative side of it as well,” she added.