After the number of applicants for undergraduate courses at Lucknow University fell by nearly 35% as compared to last academic year, a similar drop is seen in the postgraduate courses as well.
The final figures released by university officials on Tuesday clearly indicate that takers for PG courses have come down.
Sample this. The university has received maximum 815 forms for MCom against 1,052 applications received last year. The next highest number of applications this year is for MA Sociology, which stands at 760, less than last year's tally by 284 forms. In MA English, the university received a total of 472 forms as against 652 last year. The figures for MA Social Work stand at 524, which were 781 in 2010. Against 612 applications received in MSc Botany last year, only 445 have come this year.
University officials believe that tremendous fee hike in self-finance courses is keeping the students away. But what baffles them is the decline of applicants in regular courses. "We were anticipating decline in the number of applicants. And, had expected the total form figures to cross at least 15,000. The drop in the number of applications in regular PG courses is surprising," said a teacher involved in the admission process.
Despite the fee hike, there are other reasons for failure of the courses. With the lack of students, nearly 50% of the diploma and proficiency courses existing in the university will go under suspension. Some teachers blame varsity's unmindful planning while introducing the course, others feel that majority of these courses were job-oriented, whose demand has come down.
The university, for most of the self-financed courses depends solely on guest faculties, as no core faculties are available. "Before introducing a course, the university must take into account the available infrastructure and expertise, so that students are not penalised," said a senior professor.
What is more worrying is that the self-financed courses, which were started to generate extra revenue, are not able to bring in the desired changes.
University spokesperson, Prof Rajesh Mishra, said, "Taking into consideration the present job market, many courses are just irrelevant. I also feel that the university could not do justice to so many diplomas and proficiency courses with the lack of core faculties. The university is meant for academic courses and they are being run efficiently and scholarly."
Courses: No of applications (2011: 2010)
MA Eng: 472 : 652
MA Sociology: 760 : 1,044
MCom: 815 : 1,052
MA Social Work: 524 : 781
MSc Botany: 445 : 612