India, December 2014. There was a recent article in Times of India newspaper that most of the postgraduate colleges were witnessing a record low-turnout this year. Interestingly, the subjects that had low turnout were biochemistry, chemistry, education, physics, botany, microbiology, plant science, psychology, Urdu, zoology, Hindi, Sanskrit, mass communication and geography. Is this a trend or is there something wrong?
Though the administrators of universities called in five times the number of vacant seats, there was a low turnout. Outsiders feel that a delay in the process of admissions is the main culprit.
However, this is the same with the distance education wing as well; assuming that students pursuing distance education would not be too bothered with the delays as the purpose of distance education is to continue education as a parallel pursuit.
When we consider vacancies in top postgraduate colleges of India, vacancy is a lottery. They do get filled; in fact, getting a seat in these is like manna from heaven. What is the rationale behind this? Does it have to do with economic conditions of the students or is it that the best postgraduate colleges are located only in the metros?
Both the above mentioned reasons might be applicable to some extent, but change is seen more in the mindset of the students. Students have different set of priorities now these days as against the temperament of students 10 years ago.
With the arrival of MNCs in India, good students are sure of getting a job with a decent starting salary. All they have to do is to upgrade their skills related to their field in some private institutes.
As applications and technologies weigh more in terms of job prospects than theories and pure sciences, universities may have to restructure their courses to rope in more students. Also, procedural hurdles have to be removed by universities to enable easy admissions.
While students lost fancy for some subjects there are others that can do with revamping.
Top postgraduate colleges have not much of an issue as students passing out of these colleges get jobs on the face value of the colleges' name.
Students however have to consider furthering education with post graduation as a viable option. Jobs come and go and there is constant need to upgrade skills and knowledge what with the changing industry scenarios.
Finally, jobs with graduation as a prerequisite do not really promise growth in the career graph and a PG from a top postgraduate college would give an entry directly into the mid-level management.