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Job-based courses at girls’ colleges

In a bid to encourage girl students to opt for professional courses over conventional subjects, Calcutta University (CU) has decided to unveil under-graduate courses in specialised, job-oriented subjects at institutions exclusively for girls.

The Syndicate, the university’s highest policy-making body, has okayed the introduction of a bachelor’s in business administration (BBA) course at Deshabandhu Girls’ College, in south Calcutta. The institution is the first among CU-affiliated girls’ colleges to get a clearance from the university to run an under-graduate course in a professional subject. The BBA course, launched by CU a few years ago, is taught in four other colleges, all of them co-educational.

“We are looking into the possibility of opening more courses in upcoming areas in girls’ colleges. We want to encourage them to join professional courses, like the BBA and a bachelor’s in computer applications (BCA), so they can take up a job after graduating,” explained Shyamapada Pal, Syndicate member.

Sources in the state higher education department said the CU move to introduce under-graduate courses in specialised subjects in girls’ colleges originated from a decision of the state government. Writers’ Buildings had recently asked officials of the West Bengal Council of Higher Education to conduct inspections at girls’ colleges in the state to examine whether they had adequate infrastructure for running new courses in specialised subjects.

On the basis of the Council’s inspection report, the higher education department asked the CU authorities to see if the BBA course could be opened at Deshbandhu College.

Officials of CU’s under-graduate section said though the university had opened many new courses in specialised subjects in a number of co-educational colleges, the response from girl students to the courses had not been encouraging.

According to officials in the higher education department, “studies reveal that most girl students are still inclined to study only courses in conventional subjects, setting off a rush for seats in such subjects. The demand for berths in conventional subject courses is expected to ease with the introduction of more courses in specialised subjects in all-girl colleges.”

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