According to UGC data, the number of students enrolling in humanities courses has increased in the past three years. “The University Grants Commission (UGC) has stated that the total number of students enrolled in universities and colleges in the discipline of arts, humanities, social science, including languages, oriental learning and area studies has increased in the last three years,” a senior HRD ministry official stated.
According to the data provided by UGC, students enrolling in humanities courses was 1.22 crore in 2014-15, and the number increased to 1.25 crore and 1.26 crore in 2015-16 and 2016-17, respectively.
“There is a popular perception that those who take science courses are more studious and academically sound and there has been a stigma attached to humanities courses in society. The perception has changed now. More and more students are opting for humanities courses and having successful careers,” the official quoted.
What Reports Have to Say?
According to AISHE 2016-17 reports, the highest number (38%) of students are enrolled in Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences courses followed by Science (16.7%), Engineering and Technology (14.7%) and Commerce (14.1%). The following statistics show that the students are now moving away from the conventional belief of humanities disciplines being meant for ‘weak’ students.
India being a land of numerous cultures, languages, and art forms can hence offer many courses for both Indian and foreign students. But, this momentum needs to be retained and all the subjects of humanities need to be encouraged.
What Students Gain Through Humanities
Students through the exploration of the humanities learn creativity and to critique art. The art to reason and to question also develop in a student. Hence, subjects such as sociology and fine arts give you the capability to be uncertain, doubtful and sceptic. The students are therefore subversive.
These individuals can later on challenge any kind of authority, whether it is religious, scientific, or political. These subjects also help students to think about single viewpoint with multiple perceptions. Hence, the present increase in enrollment of students in humanities courses appears to be a positive sign in the arena of higher education.