After + 2, What Next?

Author: 
Dr. S. Ganesan Regional Director, IGNOU

The school education ends at higher secondary level and make the eligibility to go for college/university level education. During my college days, one of my college professor said that our next 40-years of life is determined by the first degree. It was always echoing in my mind during my B.Sc, Physics studies, and remained as constant motivator for entire study period. I personally is a witness of enjoying the benefit of first degree (UG) to get government job based on B.Sc. Thus, I can say with confident that fate of our life (after 20 years of age or so) is determined by our first degree, namely, B.A, (or) B.Com (or) B.Sc etc.
The path of higher education at tertiary level (at college) is:
BA  MA  M.Phil  Ph.D  Post- Doctoral Fellow. The commonly known popular UG degrees are: BA (Bachelor of Arts), B.Com (Bachelor of Commerce), and B.Sc (Bachelor of Science). Recently, few more added in the line viz. BCA, BSW, BTS etc. All these basic graduate degree programmes are of 3- years duration of study. In regular (day scholar) college, the period starts in  academic year( July to June); whereas the university like IGNOU in Open and Distance Learning System offers admission in both academic year and calendar year (January to December). The flexibility of Open and Distance Learning System allows to complete the UG degree upto a maximum period of 6-years also.
In Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the top 3- courses with high enrolments in IGNOU are-BA, B.Sc, B.Com. It shows the high demand and trend for these general UG degrees. The fee per year normally ranges from Rs.2500 to 5000 (varies from degree to degree). Parents and students are advised to check the official jurisdiction of the university offering the UG degree course through Open and Distance Learning mode. It is highly important to avoid future rejection for PG admission (or) employment.
Bachelor of Arts (BA): Normally it contains 13 papers (subjects) in entire 3-years-study. Most of the civil service aspirants prefer this B.A. degree as it facilities in preparation for competitive exams. Every year, nearly 1000 students takes BA admission in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. More than 10- disciplines are available for honors/specialization areas, such as – language (Hindi, English, Urdu..), Political Science, Public Administration, History, Economics, Sociology, Philosophy, Psychology, etc, Moreover, one has option to take one regional language from a pool of 15 Modern Indian Languages, such as Tamil, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Telugu, Urdu, Sanskrit, Bhojpuri, Maithilee.
Most of the B.A. students prefer and feel comfortable to opt Sociology and study their degree course through Hindi medium. (The medium of study is not mentioned in mark sheets (or) provisional certificate or degree certificate).
Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com): The non-commerce stream students from +2 are also can join B.Com for various valid reasons. The finance, accountancy, 14- commerce subjects attracts a sizable number of students to become B. Com graduate. It leads to M.Com, CA, ICWA, etc. The path takes to professional charted accountant (or) Tax consultant etc.

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc): Besides general B.Sc (pass) degree, most of the science stream students prefer honors in Physics (or) Chemistry (or) Life Science-Zoology/Botany etc. The combinations of PCM gives scope to get engineering related posts in some organization. Having 1/4th of course work (25%) practicals, many student enjoy the ‘learning by doing’. The spell of 15-days (continuously) in a year for practicals conducted in IGNOU study centre gives them a feel of regular student life even in Open and Distance Learning System mode.

Bachelor of Tourism (BTS):  Having un-limited job opportunities in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, it is one of the famous job-fetching UG Programme. With the aim to start own tour and travel office, many young boys and girls chooe BTS path for entrepreneur approach. One need not tell about BTS at Andaman & Nicobar Islands, as we all know its wide scope and progressive growth of tourism industry here. The optical fiber enabled telecom is expected to develop tourism to next level in years to come. Doing one project work every year   (3 in total) gives opportunity for creative thinking of students on tourism sector.

BA English and Hindi Rs.2400/-  Per Year
B.Com  English and Hindi Rs.2400/-  Per Year
B.Sc  English and Hindi Rs. 4200/- Per Year
BTS  English and Hindi Rs.3000/- Per Year
BSW  English and Hindi Rs. 4800/- Per Year
BCA  (Only English Medium) Rs.6000/- Per Semester


Bachelor of Social Work (BSW): We all have seen the role played by Non-Government Organization (NGO) at Andaman & Nicobar Islands, during Post-Tsunami operations. The service mind student population, especially the girls, opt BSW to contribute their share of social work to people of our country and abroad. The self-employment generating BSW programme is a boon for Andaman & Nicobar Islands population. A combination of Disaster Management diploma with BSW expands the scope to grow further.


Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA): The IT (or) ICT (or) CS being a common knowledge requirement for everyone, any + 2 pass student can join BCA. It is a semester-pattern course; facilitates students to complete 39-papers in 6-semesters. Besides, CS papers, the blend of maths (Discrete), Communication skill, Business communication, Accountancy subjects also integral part of BCA degree. Among 850 hours of total classes, more than 500 hours of practical classes are organized for hands -on -training. The subject ‘communication skill’ develops the soft skills of BCA student to fetch a good placement in reputed multi-national companies.
As mentioned in the beginning, the first degree (UG), plays a significant role in our life. In lighter sense, people say (joke) the 10th (or) + 2 mark sheet is mostly used for Date of Birth proof purpose. Having got the passport (10th standard) and Visa (Higher Secondary), now it is your flight (Degree) to take-off your life. Enjoy your UG life academically.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
(The author is Regional Director of IGNOU, Regional Centre, Port Blair and can be reached at rcportblair@ignou.ac.in (M-8900936718)

Thursday, 14 June, 2018