BHU’s Kashi Studies course eyes foreign enrolments

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The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) is planning to start a postgraduate (PG) course on one of the oldest cities in the world, Varanasi. The course will be called ‘Kashi Studies’ and the session will commence in July 2021. The course will be offered by the university’s history department under the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Kaushal Kishor Mishra, dean of Faculty of Social Science, BHU, told Education Times, that the decision to launch the course is directly driven by people’s curiosity to learn about Kashi as the city hosts a huge number of visitors/ tourists every year.

The faculty members have to develop the curriculum for a two-year PG course by December 26. Once the course curriculum is finalised, it will be presented to the academic council and executive council for suggestions and amendments.

The expert committee consists of some well-known artists and academicians from Kashi, including folk singer Malini Awasthi, journalist (or lyricist?) Amitabh Bhattacharya and Padma Shri awardee Rajeshwar Acharya, who is a Hindustani classical vocalist from Varanasi.

Mishra says, “Social Science students from India and abroad, who want to understand the mystery of Kashi may join this course. We are hopeful that the course will get a positive response from international students as foreigners are intrigued by India’s traditional history and culture, music and sculpture of Kashi.”

The university is yet to decide the admission criteria if the aspirant will have to take an entrance test, academic merits or qualitative analysis of individual applications. Besides, there is no clarity on the total seats that will be offered in the course.

As per UP government data, 64, 47,775 domestic and 3, 50,000 foreign tourists visited Varanasi in 2019. As the region attracts ample tourists, students can join the tourism department after completing the course and impart their knowledge of the city.

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