Shortly after independence, a group of visionaries — led by economist and political thinker V.K.R.V. Rao, and supported by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru — launched a project to create a centre for advanced studies in the social sciences that would compare with the best in the world. Thus began the Delhi School of Economics or DSE (www.econdse.org) in 1949. Currently, the school comprises the departments of economics, geography and sociology.
The department of economics was designated a Centre of Advanced Study by the University Grants Commission. In 1993, the Centre for Development Economics was created within the department, to strengthen the research infrastructure. The institute runs courses for MA, MPhil and PhD in economics.
The department has been associated with three important journals over the years. It publishes the Indian Economic Review, several faculty members edit the Indian Economic and Social History Review, and for many years it has housed the Journal of Quantitative Economics.
The department boasts a state-of-the-art computer centre. All students receive compulsory training in the application of computers for data analysis and economic modelling.
The computers are equipped with special econometrics packages such as Shazam, E-Views, SPSS, RATS, LIMDEP and GAUSS and subscribes to databases such as Prowess (pertaining to companies), Capex (relating to infrastructure projects), Trade (containing export and import data) and Econlit (pertaining to publications in economics).
Another attraction is the Ratan Tata Library, considered the best in the country for economics. It has a total of over 3,00,000 books, subscribes to some 500 journals, annual reports of 800 joint-stock companies, and numerous publications of the UN and other international agencies.
Graduates who pass out from the DSE are readily recruited by the corporate sector and other fields. Some of the companies that visit the campus are GE Capital, FICCI, CII, McKinsey, HDFC, Reliance, Nestle India, HSBC and ABN Amro.
The notifications for admission to the DSE are advertised in May and the last date of submission is in June. You need to send a demand draft of Rs 500 in favour of the registrar, University of Delhi (DU), payable at Delhi. Forms are also available online.
■ For students of Indian universities:
(i) BA (hons) economics from DU — at least 50 per cent marks in aggregate.
(ii) BA (hons) economics from any other university recognised by DU — at least 50 per cent in aggregate. If the programme includes courses other than economics, it shall be treated as an honours course only if the student obtains at least 55 per cent of the total marks in respect of papers in economics.
(iii) At least 60 per cent marks in MA / BA (hons) in any subject from DU or any other Indian university recognised by DU.
■ For students of foreign universities:
They must apply through the foreign students advisor, Foreign Students Registry, Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007.
■ The entrance test is held in Delhi at the end of June. Selection of candidates is based on academic record and performance in the test. The test is of three hours’ duration.
Pattern of exam
■ There are two types of question papers for the admission-cum-scholarship test — option A and option B. Candidates can choose any one. Option A is more suitable for those who have studied economics / commerce at the undergraduate level. Option B is generally for those who have studied mathematics, statistics, physics or any of the other subjects at the undergraduate level.
How to prepare
■ For the entrance test, you should be familiar with the basic concepts and tools of economic analysis, current problems of the Indian economy, basic tools of calculus, linear algebra and statistics. You could prepare from books like Micro Economics by Koutsoyiannis, Macro Economics by Shapiro and Levacic, Fundamental Methods of Mathematics Economics by A.C. Chiang, Linear Transformation and Matrices by D.T. Finkbeiner, Linear Algebra by Hoffman and Kunze, Public Finance by Musgrave, Money and Banking by S.B. Gupta, Indian Economy by Uma and Kapila, International Trade by H.G. Mannur and Bo Sodeston and Growth and Development by Sen Gupta.
SAMPLE TEST PAPER
1) Would you agree that the high rate of population growth observed in many present day LDCs is a result and not a cause of poverty? Discuss.
2) Would you agree that the fundamental obstacle to both entrepreneurship and the formation of an industrial labour force in India before 1947 was the caste system? Give reasons for your answer.
3a) What is the balanced budget multiplier in a simple Keynesian model? Trace the effect on equilibrium output of an increase in transfers financed by an equivalent amount of taxes when tax payers have a different Marginal Propensity to Consume (MPC) from that of the recipients of transfers?
b) Show in the IS-LM model, the condition under which the balanced budget multiplier is (i) unity (ii) zero
4) In the light of recent developments in the Indian economy, comment on any four of the following (in about 100 words each): (i) Budgetary deficit (ii) Balance of payments problem (iii) Concern about employment in the 10th plan (iv) Foodgrain self sufficiency