• Need to start offbeat courses: Varsity
    Telegraph | 24 November 2021
  • Darjeeling Hills University (DHU) on Tuesday issued a notice seeking application to six new postgraduate courses to kickstart the new varsity but many academics from the hills feel more non-regular courses should be included to make it a standout centre in the region.

    Starting Wednesday, students can apply online for admission to postgraduate courses in English, political science, Nepali, history, mass communication and mathematics for the 2021-22 session.

    “The start of a new university is always welcome. However, if only regular courses are offered it would be just another university. For regular courses there are many choices... There is a university in almost every district of the state now,” said a hill academic.

    Many in the hills believe that “market relevant” courses and region-specific courses need to be introduced to make the university stand out.

    “Natural resources and sustainable development, data science and business analytics, informatics, fashion, microbial science and management are some streams that could be explored,” the academic added.

    DHU will come up at Mungpoo, about 30km from Darjeeling and till the building is set up, will start from the Mungpoo ITI college.

    Many in the education field maintained the direction of any varsity is set by  academics involved at the start.

    Dr Subires Bhattacharya, vice-chancellor, North Bengal University, who has been given additional charge of DHU, said his team would “definitely” look into introducing non-regular and vocation-based courses in the university.

    “Let me first start the university with six courses. Thereafter, we will definitely think of other courses, vocational and short-term courses. We are obviously thinking on those line,” said Bhattacharya

    The university official said at the moment DHU would follow the NBU syllabus. “Once recruitment of teachers and other issues are taken care of, a new syllabus will be worked out,” said Bhattacharya.

    The vice-chancellor said that for this academic year, the DHU syllabus would be slightly truncated as the academic session has started slightly late. “But this is being done as per UGC norms,” he added.

    The demand for a university in Darjeeling was first raised in 1955. Although the state government had passed a bill to set up the hill university in 2018, the process was expedited after the delay was pointed out to chief minister Mamata Banerjee at an administrative meeting at Kurseong on October 26.
  • Link to this news (Telegraph)