The dream of getting a well-provided building for the Women Study Centre that was set up at the University of Mysore is all set to materialise soon. The Centre, with the status of a department of studies in the University, having the objective of identifying and pursuing research and studies on issues relating to women, is getting ready to realise that dream on the occasion of its silver jubilee shortly.

Having been established in 1989, the Women Study Centre started the Post-graduate Diploma Course. Later, in 2004-05, the Centre introduced the M.A. course thus creating an opportunity to study women’s issues. In the run up to getting the Centre’s building exclusively as one of the Department of Studies in the University, the foundation stone will soon be laid for beginning construction of the building.

The Women Study Centre was set up as a section of the Institute of Development of Studies, University of Mysore in 1989. It was set up with the broad objective of pursuing research on subjects relating to women studies through extension, seminars, street plays to create gender awareness as well as children’s issues.

Women Study Centres have been set up in many Universities across the country since 1986 under a project sponsored by University Grants Commission titled Development of Women Study Centres in the country’s Universities and colleges. Accordingly, the Centre at the University of Mysore was set up in 1989 when Dr. Selvie Das was its VC with Dr. Rameshwari Verma as the Centre’s Director.

In order to promote research aimed at women’s development and facilitate recognition to the studies in the area, the Centre started a PG diploma course in 1992. The MA degree course was started at the Centre in 2004-05 when Prof. Shashidhara Prasad was the VC of University of Mysore. The Centre that was functioning as a section of the Institute of Development of Studies, was moved to the Humanities Hall following a rise in the number of students. Since 2004-05, the Centre has been admitting 15 students in each batch and has completed seven batches so far. It has been possible to enable women securing employment by developing syllabus not only for the course but also for women empowerment.

Employment avenues

Preference is being given to those trained at the Centre for jobs in the Department of Women and Child Welfare, NGOs, Mahila Samakhya, as teachers, research organisations and Centres of Women’s Welfare.

The syllabus of the courses conducted by the Women Study Centre includes subjects aimed at facilitating employment. Some of those subjects are “Women and rural development; Women in science and technology; Computer applications in Women’s studies; Women entrepreneurship; Guidelines and counselling for women; Women and administration; Women’s health and nutrition. While applicants seeking admission to the courses at the Centre are being receiving in good numbers every year, only limited number of seats are offered because of paucity of space for classrooms and also teaching faculty. Students seeking admission to the courses will benefit once the new building is constructed and the needed faculty recruited.

So far, Dr. S.M. Mangala is serving as Professor and Director of the Centre as a permanent staff member, apart from five guest faculty. She is credited with a track record of working for the progress of the Centre after having been its student earlier, reaching the position of its head.

It has been decided to start M.Phil course next academic year at the Centre. The Board of Studies, University of Mysore has decided to introduce Women studies as a subject at degree level also from next academic year.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore