At the University of Delhi (DU), BCom and BCom (Hons) are the among the top draws, widely sought-after by aspirants. With 70,000 seats and 79 undergraduate programmes, Round 1 of UG admissions under the Common Seat Allocation System (CSAS-2022) show that 8,000 students have taken admission for BCom (Hons) and 7,000 for BCom (as per the DU data of October 26). “Around 59,100 candidates (subject to reconciliation) have secured their admission in the First Round of CSAS by paying the admission fee. The admission figure in both BCom and BCom (Hons) in the first round itself (with a cumulative 15,000 seats) is indicative of students’ increasing interest. For the second seat allocation round, the candidates should accept the allocated seat from Monday October 31 to Tuesday, November 1, in which case the figures are likely to go up even further,”
vice-chancellor, DU, attributes the surge in interest to India’s position as a rising economy where a good number of jobs – in the form of fund managers, venture capitalists, financial planners, auditors—have recently emerged. “Though the western part of the country has always evinced a keen interest in commerce-driven fields, the north is now waking up to this reality. India needs commerce graduates to deal with statutory financial compliances, which accounts for its popularity,”
Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), DU, feels the sudden rush is linked to the comprehensively designed curriculum and the industry-focused graduate outcomes of Commerce programmes.
“Commerce graduates are in demand for their critical thinking and knowledge over wide domains which include (but not limited to) tax, finance, management, accounting, human resources, law, Mathematics, Statistics, and politics. Programmes such as BCom (Hons) provide a high degree of multi-disciplinary learning with the flexibility to choose from several specialisations,” Kumar adds.
Referring to the recent admissions in commerce via CUET, he explains that it gives greater choice to the students, making the process more stakeholder oriented. Most importantly, it has reduced the paperwork for colleges, long used to cut-offs and their individual merit lists. Kumar adds further that despite BBA, BMS and other similar courses, BCom/BCom(H) retain their importance for their well-rounded teaching-learning process.
Science Vs Commerce
On questions being raised about science seats at DU lying vacant and whether it has a direct correlation with students seeking admission in Commerce, vice-chancellor Yogesh Singh dismisses the possibility, saying it is but a normal feature of any admission process, and not a sign of students’ reluctance. “The existing vacancies are due to students’ inability to select the course and college combinations at the appropriate time. With around 10,000 seats (in total) lying vacant, and thousands of students still in-waiting, the seats are likely to get filled in the second admission round,” Singh explains.
In case of the 850 colleges affiliated to Mumbai University, 80% of them are commerce colleges where admissions for the in-house students happen automatically (on completion of their class XII boards). For the rest of the self-financed students, admissions are conducted by Mumbai University as per a merit list, while only three-four autonomous colleges conduct their own entrance exams. “Presently, over 2 lakh students have secured admission in BCom and self-financed courses such as BCom Accounts & Finance, BCom Banking and Insurance, BCom Environment Management, among others. Mumbai’s status as a commercial hub, makes commerce the obvious choice ,chairman, Principal Association, Mumbai University.
Package and placements
For Bengaluru-based Christ University, Commerce is in high demand along with Economics and Psychology. The CUET for central universities is not an option here as it would delay the academic cycle. “The university has been admitting students through its own entrance exam, also called CUET for BCom programmes for over a decade. If the university were to participate in the CUET of NTA, the academic calendar would have been significantly delayed, affecting the placements and higher education opportunities,” says Anil Pinto, registrar of Christ University that offers six types of BCom programmes: BCom, BCom (Honours) integrated with CISI, BCom (Finance and Accountancy) which is integrated with CA, BCom (International Finance) integrated with CPA US/Australia and CFA, BCom (Professional) integrated with CIMA, BCom (Strategic Finance Honours) integrated with CMA.
BCom, he emphasises, focuses on Core Finance which helps provide job offers with high packages, especially in the Big 5 Companies. “It is one of those subjects which has survived major global and national economic shifts unlike other disciplines such as Management, Engineering, Arts, and basic Science,” Pinto adds.
“While the preference for commerce as a discipline goes back to the early 70s, it gained traction in the liberalisation era of the early 90s. With the influx of foreign capital and growing industrialisation, it was clear that besides engineering, commerce had a vital role to play in the country’s economy. Due to the rise in automation, the need for engineers, skilled and unskilled labour may go down, but in view of the various financial tools to raise capital, the importance of finance professionals has gone up,” says Amarjit Chopra, past president, ICAI and a key resource person at IMF.