With the HSC results out, students get busy with admissions. In the chaos, is there any scope for those who want to switch streams? Neha Shah reports

Todays Knowledge, apart from this article, coincidentally has a number of studen

ts talking about the fields they are in and the fields they want to be in. One of our readers who asked a question to our counsellor wants to study medicine after an MSc in Physiology. A reader who responded to one of our articles in the last week says she wanted to study literature, but is doing MBBS due to parental pressure. Besides, I know of an engineer who is working in gemology and is really happy. A postgrad in microbiology opted for a Masters in Mass Media and is now a successful writer/ editor.

Academic and student circles are full of such examples where students are looking for a switch. Some are lucky, and find a way.

Others, not quite.

‘No please so not term it as luck,’quips company secretary Aditee Handiwala. She was brainwashed into taking up science after class 10, and then pursued two years of architecture after class 12, only to realise that she was really lousy at design and would be a very poor architect, if ever she cleared the exams. She made the choice of kicking it all up to switch to commerce after two years. ‘At that point, it was not luck, but bravery. I had to bear the snide remarks of my parentsalt39social circle, where caustic remarks about my unintelligent choices did rounds. These remarks would finally reach me, saddening me. On the other hand, my mother had become this postcard martyr, lamenting on almost everything. I just stood my ground, which was very difficult for a 20- year- old, since our parents provide everything, and even pay for our fees,’she narrates. However, she had the chance to switch, and quickly made her mark in the new field, and after years, she is very happy.

Her suggestion to those who have just received their HSC or class 12 results in the last week is that be thorough in your choices and try to shift as early as possible.

‘Even though are universities are not as flexible as those in other developed countries, there are certain shifts that are possible,’says counsellor Anuradha Prabhudesai. ‘After class 12, a science student can move to arts or commerce, and a commerce student can move to arts without losing any time. The reverse, however, is not possible,’she informs.

Prabhudesai further explains that since a certain amount of knowledge is required to pursue a degree in science, if a student wants to make that switch, he or she has to go back to junior college and start afresh.

According to her, this allowance has made it easy for many students to find their appropriate subjects. ‘After class 10, students take up a stream, but many realise that the college level syllabus is different from the school level syllabus, and then are disappointed. The chance to switch to a stream of your liking without losing academic time is a golden opportunity for many,’says the principal of a city college.

In other cases, even after class 12, science students are allowed to opt for a Diploma in Engineering if they do not want to pursue a degree. ‘If a student finds himself or herself unable to compete with others at the common entrance test, and does not want to take up the degree course, the diploma route to engineering is still available to that student,’says Prabhudesai.

Besides the above mentioned cases, specialised degree courses like Bachelor of Management Studies ( BMS) and Bachelors in Mass Media ( BMM) are open to students of all backgrounds, from any stream. The admission depends on the marks scored at the class 12 examination. ‘The introduction of these specialised courses has made it quite easy for those who have the aptitude and want to specialise at something at the undergrad level itself,’says Prabhudesai.

Switching streams may not be very easy, yet, it is not entirely impossible. Many colleges accommodate those students who want to make the

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