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Missed Eco Hons? Try BA in Vaastu

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Last Updated: June 29, 2006, 19:19 IST

Missed Eco Hons? Try BA in Vaastu

If run-of-the-mill career options make you yawn, then Delhi University has a new offer that is up for grabs.

New Delhi: Don't want to do a run-of-the-mill course in college? Then how about an option in ancient Indian sciences and literature?

Vaastu, astrology, Feng-Shui and palmistry are emerging career options that students can explore and Delhi University's offering just the right vocational courses for students.

The trends are achanging and gone are the days when there was a severe dearth of formal courses and students had to learn under trained practitioners to move ahead in their chosen fields.

However, now Indian astrology is entering the curriculum of Delhi University’s degree course in Sanskrit.

The final year syllabus of BA Sanskrit will have a 100-marks examination divided into three sections - Vaastu Shastra, Jyotish and Ayurveda.

The exam will give a base-building opportunity to future astrologers and Vaastu experts.

The proposal to open departments for astrology and Hindu ceremonial rituals in universities was discussed at a meeting of the University Grants Commission (UGC) last year.

The UGC chairman had then said that courses like Vedic astrology were getting very popular abroad and this was a golden opportunity to export Indian culture and create well paid jobs abroad.

Delhi-based career counsellor Pervin Malhotra says, "These courses will give a correct perspective to students. However, students might have to follow up the course with further studies, for this paper will definitely not be enough to start a practice."

While many students are welcoming the move, the President of the Indian Rationalist Association of Delhi University Sanal Edamaruku, has sharply criticised the feasibility of courses for Hindu ceremonial rituals and 'superstitious pseudo-sciences like astrology' in universities.

"The proposal is ridiculous and demands condemnation," he had said in a press statement released at New Delhi and had demanded that the proposal be immediately withdrawn and the UGC chairman sacked.

"Universities are meant for developing the faculties of knowledge and wisdom, and scientific outlook shall be their foundation. The plan to train students to perform primitive ceremonies and rituals and to teach astrology with the public funds available to the UGC amounts to crime against Indian society. It is against all genuine interests of Indian educational system" he said.

However, there are many students who believe that such courses are necessary to preserve Indian ancient sciences.

"The Chinese believe in their ancient sciences and have preserved them beautifully. In fact, students of Sanskrit are privileged that they have an opportunity to take an insight into the mysteries of ancient India. I would have loved to study it but no such opportunity is available to us," says a second year Delhi University history student, Prarthna Sinha.

Pervin Malhotra agrees, but adds that belief in these sciences is subjective.

"People will consult astrologers, palmists and Vaastu experts, whether courses exist or not. These courses give students an advantage in the sense that they are credible, recognised and it's a much better option than studying under quaks," says Malhotra.

She adds that the paper is compulsory for all students who opt for a BA in Sanskrit and that it's always good to have this knowledge.

"If one doesn't believe in these things, they don't necessarily have to pursue it as a career. There's no compulsion there," says she.
first published:June 29, 2006, 19:19 IST
last updated:June 29, 2006, 19:19 IST