In PU,men seek ‘women’ studieshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/education-news/in-pu-men-seek-women-studies/

In PU,men seek ‘women’ studies

Panjab University authorities could have hardly anticipated that courses they had designed for women,keeping in view interest and demand for them from the fairer sex,would generate interest from male students.

Number of male students in traditionally women’s courses has increased

Panjab University authorities could have hardly anticipated that courses they had designed for women,keeping in view interest and demand for them from the fairer sex,would generate interest from male students. If admissions to certain departments this year are anything to go by,that is precisely what has happened. Similarly,women also seem to be showing interest in courses that have over the years been monopolised by their male counterparts.

While the number of men enrolled in traditionally women dominated departments like Women Studies,Social Work and Sociology has increased by 10 per cent,the number of female students has also increased in departments like Gandhian Studies where the ratio of male pupils has always been on a higher side.

“We have witnessed a time when boys used to hesitate and even feel embarrassed in saying that they study in the Women Studies department. But,now this mindset has changed. The number of male candidates pursuing Women Studies as a career has certainly increased. Especially this year,from hardly one or two male students,the number has increased to almost nine students,increasing the ratio from 10 per cent to 50 per cent,making it equal to females,” said the Head of Department of Women Studies,Prof Rajesh Gill.

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Prof Gill and other teachers attribute this change to increased job opportunities in this sector that range from work in local,national to even international NGOs. “All the students who have passed out from here are well placed. Recently,there was a requirement for a teacher from one of the universities whose Vice Chancellor had contacted me for the same but none of the students could join them as all were already well placed,’ Gill said. With the increase in demand the department has proposed to increase the number of seats along with offering new courses like Diploma,Advanced Diploma and M Phil.

Similarly,with 68 seats,the number of male candidates has increased in the Sociology Department. Prof Rajesh Gill who also heads this department agreed that the presence of male candidates has certainly increased over time. “Not only the percentage but also the quality of male candidates has improved. Earlier from only ten per cent of male students,the percentage has more than doubled this year,” added Prof Gill. In the previous years,the Department had only six to seven male students while this year the number has touched 15. In the Social Work Department of the University,contrary to previous year records,out of 43 students who applied and appeared for the department admission test,only 15 were female candidates.

For the Gandhian Studies department,however,the change has been in the other direction. From being dominated by men,the course has seem more women join. Prof M L Sharma,Head of Department said: “From a trend that increased to 40 per cent of female students over the years,this year the ratio is balanced out with an equal number. Out of 23 seats,twelve are female students. This is a good sign for the department as the general perception is that students especially boys take admission in this department for hostel accommodation.”

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