While MA English continues to be one of the most sought after courses in the Panjab University Faculty of Arts,the authorities have decided to lower the number of seats from this year. The number of applications for admission to MA English in the last three years has been around 450 every year. The seats will be reduced from 150 to 100 this year.
Department officials claim that the idea behind curtailing the number of seats is to ensure better quality of teaching. Offering a total of 150 seats,the department has so far been teaching the students in two sections of 75 each.
While the English department has a total of 14 faculty members for 300 students,150 each in MAI and MAII,some members cite difficulties in managing the high number of students in one class. So far we have been accommodating our students in two sections of 75 students each. It gets difficult to ensure the attention of so many students at once and ensure that the lectures are being attended well. We had,therefore,requested the Dean Academics to reduce the number of seats, said a faculty member from the department.
Another purpose behind bringing down the number of seats is to maintain a high cut-off for admissions which will ensure a high quality of students enrolling in the course.
Speaking to Newsline,Dean University Instructions (DUI) Prof B S Brar said,Due to the easy availability of seats in the department,it has been facing a regular problem of many non-serious students. This has been one of the reasons why they have been requesting us to reduce the number of seats over the last few years. This year we accepted the demand.
PUs move,however,may invite opposition from students or other departments. As a representative of students,I do not welcome the idea of reducing the number of seats in any department for ensuring quality of teaching or results of students. Rather than curtailing the seats,the authorities should lay emphasis on improving teaching methods if they really want to improve the quality of teaching, said Pushpinder Sharma,former president of the Panjab University Campus Student Council (PUCSC).
Besides,if that is the case in MA English,the other departments with high student strength like Law too may demand reduction of seats, added Pushpinder.