Times of India (TOI) today featured a front page article on why market driven undergraduate specialisation courses are defunct and of minimal value to the students.

Three premier institutes for science and research in India, namely The National Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy and Indian Academy of Sciences are of the view that courses in highly specialised subjects should not be allowed at school and undergraduate levels.

These institutes have written to HRD minister Kapil Sibal and recommended that these courses be scrapped.

Reason? Before taking up courses in such highly specialised streams the students must get their basics right and go through the drills of a composite B.Sc. course. Argument being that one cannot study biotechnology without a thorough understanding of biology and so on.

They explained that students are half baked cookies, with good knowledge of neither the basic sciences nor the specialised subjects. They also pointed out that these specialised courses are more expensive than plain B.Sc. courses.

The proposal has just been tabled and a final decision is awaited. However, even before the decision is made, some universities across the country have started re-designing their course curriculums.

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