B.A. Economics (Hons.)
In New Delhi
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Economics in St. Stephen's College is a much sought-after course, and competition to get admission to it is intense. Economics Honours in the University of Delhi is, without any exaggeration, the finest undergraduate course in the discipline that this country offers, especially after recent changes have improved its structure and significantly increased the levels of academic sophistication and difficulty (the 2008 batch was the first to complete the new course). It is technically demanding and requires strong mathematical and "quantitative" skills. Students who want to apply to Economics Honours should have been very comfortable with Class XII mathematics and should be familiar with logical reasoning starting from clearly stated assumptions. A Class XII background in the sciences is in fact very good preparatory training; and, on the other hand, there is no need to have done Economics at Class XII provided the student has the basic mathematical skills and ability to reason logically (the Honours course is entirely self-contained).
The major constituent compulsory units of the Honours course are: (1) mathematical methods, (2) statistical methods, (3) microeconomics, (4) macroeconomics, (5) the economic history of India 1857 to 1947, (6) the Indian economy since 1947 with special reference to more recent developments, and (7) development economics. In the third year the student has to choose four options from a range comprising (1) game theory with applications in industrial organization and the economics of information, (2) advanced macroeconomics, (3) econometrics, (4) international economics, (5) money and financial institutions, and (6) public economics.
A significant proportion of the graduating class pursues higher studies in Economics in India or abroad. There is a very distinguished list of former students of Economics in the College who have then gone on to senior positions as economists in Government, in the World Bank or Asian Development Bank, the IMF and so on; many are in Professorial positions at universities in India (the Delhi School of Economics, Indian Statistical Institute, JNU, etc.) or abroad (Columbia, Oxford, UCLA, Carnegie-Mellon, Brown, Michigan, the London School of Economics - the list is very long). But it is not the case that the only routes lead to academics or research careers. At least three former students of the Department are now High Court judges and many are distinguished lawyers. Our students go on to do management studies at one or the other of the many business schools, and thence to the corporate sector. A fair proportion get jobs immediately after the undergraduate degree in a variety of private sector firms - in the financial sector, in consultancy, in the hospitality industry, in the print and electronic media, etc.
B.A. Economics (Hons.)