In last week’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) college rankings, Miranda House continued to hold the top spot for the fifth consecutive year. Principal Dr Bijayalaxmi Nanda in a conversation with The Indian Express said the college hopes to see its students back on campus soon, but this blended learning model is here to stay. She adds that students must be prepared for this as well as for the multidisciplinary approach of the National Education Policy. Excerpts:
What can students expect in terms of cut-off marks for admissions this year?
The threshold will be higher this time compared to the last academic year. However, students interested in Sanskrit, Bengali, Tamil, and Punjabi may find a window into the BA program combination courses at Miranda House.
What was the teaching and learning experience during the pandemic? How did the college adapt to the change?
The Covid-19 restrictions have changed the face of education around the world, and the challenges have focused on online learning. We strive to improve accessibility and inclusion as much as possible. The University of Delhi has introduced online admissions and exams. We operate on an “anti-fragility” principle, which means learning and growing from crises and disruptions. We have expanded our internet connectivity and are striving to connect with every student by improving our support by providing them with digital devices. We have also placed an emphasis on blended learning in all respects and have been able to connect nationally and globally with academics and experts.
However, the feeling of being on a vibrant campus can never be replaced. We hope that with a full vaccination and SOPs, we can soon find our students. Our libraries and laboratories are operating at their minimum capacity. But I believe this blended learning mode is here to stay because education benefits. Additionally, our student volunteers did a great job running a Covid support service during Wave 2, which supported many of the city’s residents. A test facility has also been set up inside the campus. We have been working on skills development, especially mask making and distribution, for our community outreach programs like “Unnat Bharat Abhiyan”. The college was attentive to the needs of mental health counseling services for students and did its best to support them.
Can you tell us a bit about the college and the courses it offers?
Miranda House is a DU constituent college established in 1948 and has a rich heritage of contributing to the education of women in India. The college offers a large number of courses including Humanities, Social Sciences, B.El.Ed, and Modern Indian Languages. We also offer complementary courses on foreign languages and courses related to medical biotechnology, nanochemistry, data science and analysis. Capacity building workshops to improve students’ research skills as well as skills development are our new focus areas.
What are the particularities of the college that might interest students?
The beautiful historical atmosphere, the environment respectful of the environment and the link with the sensitive and learned faculty. The college offers state-of-the-art facilities in the form of undergraduate research learning labs, policy labs, incubation centers, placement cell support and a very dynamic range of activities. extracurricular, extracurricular and extension.
Any words on what can the new batch of students expect at a university that has changed with the pandemic?
Young people are resilient and products of this learning system that has evolved due to the pandemic. In a sense, they are already prepared.
My main message to them is to protect themselves first by getting vaccinated. Second, they must be prepared to learn new skills. The national education policy will soon develop a whole new learning. A holistic and multidisciplinary learning environment will provide them with many opportunities and they should be prepared to make the most of them. We, as an educational institution, will be the facilitators of this dynamic process.