Photographs: Illustration by Uttam Ghosh Papia Lahiri, Careers360
Various short-term, add-on courses at Delhi University cater to a wide variety of needs, interests, and tastes. Find out more.
What strikes you the most about Parul Malik is her vivacity.
She wasn't like this when she came to study English at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College (DDU), Delhi.
Shy and reticent, she had to be prodded by her friends to join a three months certificate course in 'Effective communication and personality development through theatre', offered by her college in collaboration with National School of Drama (NSD). And the change was radical.
The course transformed her personality, says Parul.
Welcome to the world of add-on courses at Delhi University! Whether you are a prospective economist with an interest in art criticism or physics major with a knack for media, there is something for you.
From effective communication to peace and conflict resolution, radio jockeying, and food technology, there is a wide range of add-on certificate courses to choose from, even though each college can offer only a maximum of nine such courses.
One can join an add-on course while studying for one's main degree programme.
The courses start around August and are conducted during after-college hours. Their duration tend to be between three to six months. We discuss here some of the add-on courses offered by the colleges of Delhi University.
Students hope to develop their ability to face interviews
A rainy August day seems to have done nothing to diminish the energy of the students in a drama class at the DDU college.
After a brief round of introduction, the students are put through various mind games, concentration exercises and physically engaging activities; they appear charged up and eager to take anything in their stride. Their activities will culminate in writing of scripts, conceptualising acts and performing in front of an audience.
"The three-month course on effective communication and personality development through theatre began about five years ago. Since then the demand has risen to the point that we have had to organise auditions for the applicants in order to restrict the batch to no more than 30," says Professor Pramesh Ratnakar, the course coordinator.
What is on offer
Students are required to attend two classes of three hours each in a week, adding up to a course work of 90-100 hours.
The course is favoured for various reasons; students say they hope to develop their ability to face interviews, secure admission in postgraduate courses outside India and prepare to work in media and public relations.
"Theatre is a medium that provides skills that can last a lifetime. The programme encompasses complete self-development of college kids. We try to incorporate pertinent cultural issues, social values and Current Affairs in our course content so as to give the student a wide perspective and a self-confident demeanour," says Ajay Manchanda, course director and senior visiting faculty, DDU, who has been associated with NSD for more than two decades.
A similar course on personality development is offered by Acharya Narendra Dev College in partnership with National School of Drama. DDU college also offers courses in fingerprinting and document examination and diploma in foreign languages.
Those with artistic sense often end up in visual media
At Lady Shri Ram college, add-on course in art appreciation is popular, perhaps as a counterbalance to rather 'heavy' full-time courses in commerce and sciences.
The students' growing interest in art is also explained by the promotion of amateur artists by the art galleries.
"We have students across disciplines like History, Literature and Commerce showing genuine interest in this course. The course is a series of about 10 lectures spread over 2-3 months. Students gain a perspective into the art scene from Harappa civilisation to the work of contemporary artists. The students acquire an artistic sense and often end up becoming interested in visual media," says Aneesha Saxena, the coordinator of the art appreciation course at LSR.
Courses on art appreciation and entrepreneurship for women
Most of the add-on courses are a result of the research carried out by course directors and faculty; their effort is to gauge current trends and work out the content of these courses.
At LSR, add-on courses can change every academic year in line with the needs of the students.
This year, there are courses on art appreciation and entrepreneurship for women.
Computing and web designing are popular
Computing and web design are popular because they are thought to help course-takers get jobs. Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences offers a certificate course in MS-Office and website designing for 10+2 students.
The course is meant for students who have yet to acquire basic computing skills, such as the ability to work on MS-Word, Excel, Power Point and other routinely used programs. It provides practical experience in the computer lab and culminates with a project based on MS-Office.
The course also deals with the basics of website designing, including introduction to Internet, HTML, MS-Front Page, Java Script and uploading of website.
"As a correspondence student at Delhi University, I had never thought I would be able to acquire knowledge of the basics of website designing through a proper channel. This course has come as a blessing, especially because I wish to design a website for the business I intend to set up. It's also very affordable," says Govind Sharma, a student.
With a fee of about Rs. 3,000, the three-month course is immensely popular with college students. Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences also offers a certificate course in food safety.
Interested in Radio Jockeying?
Photographs: Illustration by Dominic Xavier
The popularity of FM radio has made radio jockeying a profession in its own right. As a radio jockey (RJ), you talk your heart out and get paid for that. So why won't some of the college-going youth be interested in radio jockeying.?
Not surprisingly, the certificate course in radio jockeying at the Institute of Home Economics (IHE), has found a large group of enthusiasts over the last four years.
Jockeying your way
IHE offers a 50-hour training programme in radio jockeying, including sessions at its state-of-the-art studio. Eminent RJs from private radio stations as well as All India Radio conduct sessions and train students in scripting, voice modulation, editing, recording and various other radio jockeying skills.
"The students might not necessarily chart a career as RJ, but the course helps them acquire skills like public speaking, creative writing and thinking," says Dr. Parveen Pannu, the course co-ordinator.
The course is conducted for three hours every Saturday and is open to any undergraduate student at Delhi University. Dolly Sharma, a final year BSc (Honours) Home Science student says, "I have joined the course not because I want to become an RJ, but because I believe it will help me in expressing myself and give me a creative vent. These are very valuable life-skills."
IHE also offers short-term courses in Event Management and Auto Computer Aided Design (AutoCAD).
Courses in Sports Economics, Financial Management
While Ramjas College offers short-term add-on courses in Bio-informatics, Biotechnology, Nanoscience and Capital Markets; Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College has a certificate course each in Sports Economics and Marketing as well as Web Journalism.
Jesus and Mary College has courses on Corporate Communication and Public Relations, Financial Management and Media Studies.
Gargi College has certificate programmes in Vedic Mathematics, Historical Tourism, and Advertising.
The add-on courses at Delhi University generally cost a student Rs. 3,000 to 7,000, which is deemed a reasonable fee range by most students considering that the colleges incur cost in compensating their own faculty for additional work or partnering with other institutions. Not a bad deal at all.