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Are Students from the Southern States obsessed with Science Stream? Find out why!

Are south indian students obsesses with science?

In academic streams chosen by students across the country, regional differences are evident, with science most preferred down south. While arts/humanities are preferred in the north and northeast. The commerce stream stands out as the least opted across all regions. This highlights the need for a more holistic approach to education. Considering the emphasis on technical skills and specialized knowledge in professional courses.

The Actual Picture

In 2022, nearly 4.2 million students chose the science stream, up from 3.07 million in 2012. Among them, a majority hailed from the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. Byresh S H, a student from Kolar, Karnataka, excelled in the BSc agriculture stream and secured high ranks in other science-related fields. His ultimate goal is to study medicine at the renowned All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.

The southern states show a preference for science education despite a strong emphasis on dance, music, and theater in the region. This choice is often driven by job availability and market outlook. Engineering and medicine are perceived as fields offering stable income and job security. Without doubt is appealing to students and their parents, particularly in semi-urban and rural areas.

The Reasons for this shift

South India offers a wide range of options for science education, with a high number of engineering and technological institutions and medical colleges. The southern region produces a significant number of toppers in competitive exams. For example, like the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). Cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad have a thriving IT sector, attracting students interested in IT-related jobs.

On the other hand, liberal arts institutions are more limited in the southern region compared to the north. Prevailing stereotypes about studying humanities, such as limited career opportunities and lower salaries create a perception among students that science degrees hold higher value in the job market. This perception is further reinforced by employers who often view science graduates as more talented or capable.

The ambitious National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 aims to address these issues by allowing students to choose subjects freely. Thereby, eliminating the rigid separation of streams. The policy has been largely welcomed in southern states, although Tamil Nadu has voiced opposition. It remains to be seen if the NEP can eliminate elitism and the notion of privilege associated with choosing the science stream.

A Final word

A more holistic approach to education is needed to tap into students’ untapped potential. Breaking stereotypes and promoting diverse career opportunities in all streams. Including arts/humanities and commerce, will help students explore their true passions and contribute to a well-rounded society.

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