“The entire way of looking at degree courses has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” claim the students seeking admissions to First Year (FY) Undergraduate (UG) programmes under the University of Mumbai (MU). With the announcement of the first merit list on August 6, students said they are opting for courses that can prove beneficial in the long run, keeping the present pandemic in mind.
Majority of the degree colleges of the city witnessed a large number of applications for courses such as Microbiology, Biotechnology, Information Technology (IT), Computer Science (CS), Film and Television Media, Commerce Honors, Bachelor of Banking and Insurance (BBI), Accounting and Finance (BAF), Arts (Psychology) and Management Studies (BMS). The applicants are battling for 60 to 120 seats and more with higher cut-offs this year compared to last year.
We are hit by a virus that has changed the demographics of the world, said Khushi Shah, a student opting for Microbiology programme. Shah said, "Instead of just learning general science, I want to pursue Microbiology to understand the functioning of microorganisms along with the cause and effect of a viral pandemic. I want to contribute and do my part of finding a solution in the future."
Online technology and digital network are probably the only threads that every country is hanging on for survival, said Razak Tahir, a student opting for BSc IT. Tahir said, "IT has shifted from a luxury of multinational companies to becoming the backbone of small scale industries and micro companies. Even the education sector is entirely dependent on online technology for virtual learning. There is going to be scope for employment in the IT sector because online technology is the new normal."
Due to the financial crisis on account of the pandemic, the banking and economic sector has steered to survive, said Paramjeet Kaur, a student seeking admission for BBI. Kaur said, "My father works in the banking sector and I have seen him work day and night in the last few months. The financial crisis has increased the flow of people knocking on the doors of banks for aid. I want to work in this sector to serve the community at large."
Even though the media is criticised for multiple reasons, it is the only source that has kept us informed at every step while we have been confined to our homes in the last four months of lockdown, said Virat Majetia, a student wanting to pursue Mass Communication and Journalism. Majetia said, "I have witnessed the importance of communication as all the information I needed was conveyed by the media while we were locked up in our homes. I want to fulfill my duty of informing the public."