Strictly Scientific

There has long been an inevitable connection between taking up science stream in high school and pursuing medicine or engineering courses.

Written by Anjali Jhangiani | Published: June 4, 2013 12:47 am

Pure science subjects like Mathematics and Geology are steadily gaining popularity among college students as ‘career courses’

There has long been an inevitable connection between taking up science stream in high school and pursuing medicine or engineering courses. It was what parents suggested,teachers advised and students worked towards. And even those who did opt to pursue courses in pure sciences often did not find their studies translate into full-fledged careers. But with research-oriented careers receiving a fillip,subjects like Physics,Mathematics,Botany and Geology are becoming sought-after courses.

Take the case of Richa Sharma,who has completed BSc in Biology. Currently preparing for higher studies in Biology,with a specialisation in Microbiology,the 20-year-old has set her heart on a career in research. She wants to later narrow it down to the study of genetics. “I think research has a lot of scope not just as a career but also a choice that can provide ample job satisfaction from knowing that what we do benefits society at large,” she says.

Sharma is clearly not the only one looking forward to research work. Kunal Mulay,who is applying for an under graduate course in chemistry,says the scope of research is vast even in India. “Institutes like the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in Pune,are doing path breaking research which applies in the real world. I would surely like to be a part of such work after completing my bachelors and then masters in organic chemistry,” he says.

Catching the pulse of students,institutes offering courses in pure sciences are also encouraging more and more aspirants to look at these courses as full-fledged careers. Case in point is SP College,off Tilak Road,which has more than 400 students pursuing various pure science courses for their undergraduate degree. Principal Dilip Sheth Narayan observes that the number of students in pure science courses has gone up in the last five years. He credits the increase to the scholarships. “There are two scholarships offered to students taking up pure science courses at undergraduate level. Inspire,a scholarship offered by Department of Science and Technology grants Rs 80,000 to a deserving student who takes up the study of a branch of pure science. Another scholarship is offered by the state government for the same discipline,” he says.

Ravindra Singh Pardeshi,principal of Fergusson College,says that lucrative job opportunities available on a global platform also attract students to these courses. “These days there is a high demand for professionals to work in the field of research in petroleum industries,pharmaceutical industries and others. The fields of meteorology and astronomy are also good to build careers,” he adds.

Despite the wave of change,Rajendra Zunjarrao,principal of Modern College of Arts,Science and Commerce,Shivaji Nagar,says both the government as well as current students need to put in more efforts to emphasise the benefits of the courses to further popularise these courses.

“Right now the number of those pursuing a career in pure sciences is around 10 per cent of the total student base in the college. Of course on the positive side,the number has increased in the last three years. Earlier it would be around four to five per cent,but that is changing slowly,” he adds.

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