Come New Year, students at the Presidency University in Kolkata can opt for a course on the enigma of love, its vice-chancellor said Sunday, adding that this was part of the new interdisciplinary studies programme. “The new course on love will deal with its sociological implications and will begin from the next semester in January,” Malabika Sarkar, vice-chancellor of Presidency University told IANS. “The course will be taught by the university’s sociology department. It will basically deal with the theoretical aspects of love,” Sarkar said.
The varsity began an initiative July to introduce students to a variety of topics, irrespective of their major subject, becoming the first university in the country to offer interdisciplinary courses. Under this programme, science students can get a taste of liberal arts, and those delving into humanities can take up a science subject. “This is the first such initiative in the country. In the traditional Indian university education system, honours students are required to take up two pass subjects. We have replaced the pass subjects,” professor Somak Raychaudhury, head of the varsity’s physics department had said earlier.
Raychaudhury said the decision to juxtapose the two branches was taken as students do not take pass subjects seriously. “So, instead of forcing pass subjects on students, we decided to break them up and have a list of 10 papers. All the honours students are required to take up 10 papers. While the science students are needed to take at least two arts papers, it is vice versa for students of humanities,” the professor explained. For example, the physics department has introduced a course, “Physics of Everyday Life”, under which students, irrespective of the stream they are majoring in, are taught how things like a camera work. “The course is open to everybody. An English literature student can take it up. Similarly, the sociology department is offering a subject called ‘Love’ that students from other departments can study,” the professor said.