With over 10,000 admissions taking place in the BA programme in Delhi University this year after the fifth cut-off list, it has become the most sought-after course Professors at the varsity say BA programme is no longer the poor cousin of honours degree courses and is not a back-up option. Manmohan Kaur, the principal of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College, said admissions to the course for the general category were closed after the third cut-off list.
Nidhi Bhandari, a convener of BA programme committee at Kamla Nehru College, said students want to keep their options open for MA courses and it allows them greater flexibility. "They study two main discipline subjects and apart from that, they have skill enhancement courses and generic courses. Skill enhancement courses help enhance their knowledge of the two main discipline subjects while in generic courses, they get to study subjects other than their main subjects," Bhandari said.
She added that students can choose a combination of their choices like Maths and Sociology, English and Political Science, etc. thus making them eligible for all the competitive exams. Another reason for the course being a hit with the students is there being a perception that it is helpful for civil services examination. "During admission time, many students come to us with queries about how BA programme is helpful for preparation of civil services examination," said a professor.
"There are lots of combinations available under the programme and students are not only restricted to studying one subject for three years like an honours degree course," the professor said. Rajib Ray, a philosophy professor at Kirori Mal College, said students who have done their BA programme from the varsity are doing well and have progressed well in their careers. "It is inter-disciplinary in nature. Many people feel they have wider choice with the BA programme.
"Students have this perception that they need a bit of preparation for civil services examination right from graduation and with a heavy honours degree course, it would be difficult and they can do better with a BA programme," he added. Kaur said the course's popularity can be attributed to herd mentality. "This is a cycle. When we were students, Science was the most popular course and then came the phase of Commerce. Currently, it is the situation with BA programme that others are doing, so I will do. They feel that they will have better-informed choices," she added.