Education

‘Rekindle interest in science among students’

Amit Mitra Hyderabad March 29 | Updated on March 29, 2013

Merge three-year BSc course and two-year MSc course into a single four-year graduation course on the lines of a BE or a BTech course to re-kindle interest in science education among students.

After taking the course, the students should be eligible to directly go for PhD in science.

This was one of the suggestions that emerged on the first day of the two-day national conference on ‘Declining interest in science education and research among students’ here today.

Science education

The conference discussed a variety of issues that could spark interest among students to take to science education and the career opportunities involved.

The suggestion for a four-year BSc course, in fact, has been put before the University Grants Commission, which is considering it.

Former President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who was the chief guest, suggested that the Government have openings for at least 400 MSc and 200 PhD students in its science and research-related institutions every year.

“Firstly, the fear among students that science is a difficult subject should be driven away by teachers. Science (studies) can make students unique,’’ he said.

Job opportunities

Ch. Mohan Rao, Director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology and President of the Andhra Pradesh Academy of Sciences, said students should be made aware of the employment opportunities in the science stream.

“Today, only 30 per cent of the fresh engineering graduates are getting into jobs related to their subject. But parents are still sold to the idea of engineering students getting good job opportunities,’’ he told media persons on the sidelines of the conference.

Entry-level salary

An Msc or a PhD student in science can get the position of a scientist in government-run science and research institutions with an entry-level salary of about Rs 45,000 per month.

A mid-level scientist, after six to seven years of work, is drawing a monthly salary of Rs one lakh, he said, adding that these should be told to students at the college level.

>amitmitra@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 29, 2013

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