Earn While You Learn

As reported in media, students getting admission in Delhi University in undergraduate as well as graduate courses will soon be able to get part-time jobs too within the university setup. The part-time jobs on campus may include positions of research associate, library assistant, technician, cafeteria manager, website and database developer, counselor, physical education trainer, swimming coach, hostel caregiver, gardener, staff vehicle driver and security person. Academic performance of students and their financial needs will the criteria for getting the job. The remuneration will be at par with market standards, and students will be paid on the basis of the number of hours they put in per day. A research scholar gets Rs 8,000-12,000 per month as per the UGC standards. The research and teaching assistants working on part-time basis will get an hourly payment.

As such, any job of responsibility provides on job training and builds certain amount of professionalism and develops work culture. Opportunities of part-time jobs will provide will inculcate the respect for labour and may be bring equity among the mindsets of the students. I wish the system evolve, get mature and stabilize as it has in US.

The practice is almost universal in American universities. That’s the way my three sons in US completed their Masters. However, it will be the first-of-its kind plan for any Indian university. The system will prepare them better for the career without depending very much on the parents for financial support or on banks for loan to pursue their studies.

Anand showed me the food outlets where he worked initially before he could get an assistantship in a computer lab of Arizona University. I have been promoting the necessity to incorporate part time jobs for deserving graduate students as research assistant and teaching assistants in all universities. I strongly feel that the system may make many students interested in teaching and R&D as profession that today hardly is on the priority of the boys and girls studying in universities. Most of the time, it is because of the ignorance about the challenges and the opportunities of these professions that are foundations for a developed economy.

The new scheme proposes to allow students to work for 25 to 30 hours a month through the academic year, which starts from July. I wish the students could work for the time slot convenient to them without hampering their academic engagement.

Will the scheme spread to all universities, engineering colleges and schools of business management too? Will it also mean waiving off of various fees or certain concession on it that hasgone very high? I wish it did at least for those working as teaching and research assistants

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