By Anshuman Kamila
South Asian University (SAU): “The new core for core economists!”
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU): “The melting pot of thesis and antithesis”
Placement record is not so good, although it has improved in recent times. A concerted effort in putting together the semblance of a ‘placement cell’ has been started last year and results are showing – students are getting well paid internships. But placements so far have been confined to academic sphere alone – research associate-ships and small time analysts, et al.
Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR): “The exotic hub of economics”
ENTRANCE PREPARATION: The entrance test is a salad bowl of economics (no calculations here, so stress is on robust understanding of fundamentals and uncanny ability to ‘reason out assertions’), arithmetic and verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Maintaining cool throughout the duration of the test is the only sensible advice one can give. Interviews are usually grueling and grilling, and intrinsically unpredictable. So a lot of scope of surprises here, although confidence in answering and being thorough in subjects of preference should put one in good stead.
Delhi School of Economics (DSE): “The corporate hotspot!”
Indian Statistical Institute (ISI): “A researcher’s paradise!”
Why DSE over ISI? Well, this question has been put to me umpteen number of times. So a well considered reply is in order. Here it is:
From my interaction with people at DSE and ISI, the gut-feeling one develops is that ISI is best suited for someone who plans to cruise the research highway (or i-way, if you like!) while DSE is a haven for anyone who’s as yet undecided about putting in hard labor in economics. That is not to say that ISI doesn’t offer tantalizing corporate packages (truth to tell, the onus and hence the choice lies with the student body at ISI to invite which companies they wish to apply to; with such a small pool of highly skilled applicants, companies are more than willing to hire and almost everyone gets their preferred pick.) or DSE doesn’t send scholars to Ivy League varsities for higher studies (as one esteemed researcher-professor at DSE apprised us, DSE sends students to Ivy League varsities ranked higher than those attended by scholars from ISI).
That said, I felt, and had my belief corroborated by a senior academician in the economics circuit, that DSE offered more diversity in subjects and specializations. Even in interests of research and conversation, DSE campus offers greater variety than that available at ISI – simply because 200+ students will offer more diversity than less than 30 students! Also, that DSE houses the Departments of Commerce, Geography and Sociology, offers scope for a multi-disciplinary approach to any given theme of conversation and interaction.
In summary, I chose DSE over ISI for the sheer diversity of interests of my prospective classmates (which turned out to be true), for the fact that DSE sits in the midst of the vibrant college life of Delhi University and that DSE is a prudent linear combination of academics and amiable social life, and I have convex preferences in this regard!