The Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) has recommended introducing new professional courses. Academic Council of the Himachal Pradesh University has given a green signal to set up of 10 new departments, 11 new centres for research and extension and seven new chairs, besides deciding to start several new courses.

The important recommendations were made by the Academic Council after holding its 63rd meeting. The new departments recommended by the council are anthropology, archaeology, bio-chemistry, geology, library and information science, defence studies, fine arts, philosophy, traditional knowledge system and pharmaceutical sciences. In another significant recommendation, the council also decided to set up 11 centers for research and extension in a phased manner, to be started from the next academic session. These will be the Centre for Nano Science and Technology, Food Processing, Multi Media, Immunology and Infectious Disease, Indian Religion Philosophy Thoughts and Culture, Environmental Studies, Pahari Language and Culture, Remote Sensing and GIS, Spiritualism, Jyotish and Yogic Studies, Social Exclusions and Inclusive Growth and Disabilities Studies.

Council also decided to set up of seven more Chairs in the names of SS Bhatnagar for Science Education and Research, Shobha Singh – Visual Arts, JC Bose – Life Sciences, Baba Bhalku Ram – Tourism, Transport and Hospitality, Sri Aurbindo – Indian Philosophy and Thoughts and the Planning Commission and Reserve Bank of India Chairs. The council also decided to introduce certificate courses in Urdu, Chinese, Japanese, human rights, tourist guide, computer, personality and skill development, religious tourism and freedom struggle tourism, which are in demand and will help enhance employment opportunities for the youth. Several new courses, including MTech in Bio-Technology and Information Technology, MSc in Remote Sensing, GIS, Environment Science, Statistics, Polymer Science, MA in Disaster Management, Hindi Journalism, Population and Development Studies and Tribal Studies will be started. MBA in Infrastructure Development, Banking and Life Insurance, Retail Management, Bio-technology, Environment Management and Rural Development will also be started.

Some other courses to be started include postgraduation in financial studies, accounts and taxation, costing, banking and insurance and retail management with short-term special courses in veda, vyakarana, darshana and Himalayan culture and spirituality. The council also recommended to start postgraduate diploma courses in cultural tourism, adventure sports, Pahari miniature painting, bio-informatics, Buddhists studies, cyber law and IPR and patent law.

Council’s decision indicates that the university is finally taking steps to face competition from private universities.