Bengaluru's Mount Carmel opens up its postgraduate courses to boys

Bengaluru’s Mount Carmel opens up its postgraduate courses to boys

BENGALURU: Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru’s premier girls-only institution, is opening up its postgraduate section for boys.

The institution had sent its proposal to Bangalore University in March seeking permission to offer PG courses for boys too.

On Thursday, the university’s academic council approved the proposal of the 67-year-old college.

Principal Sr Arpana told TOI the college has state-of-the-art infrastructure, well-equipped laboratories and research facilities. “There was a demand for PG courses in electronics and nanotechnology from boys. And since MCC has all the necessary facilities for this, we thought, why not? But only a certain percentage of seats will be allotted for boys as our new campus is not yet ready and classes will continue in the Vasanthnagar campus.”

BU vice-chancellor B Thimme Gowda said: “Once the government gives permission, they can start offering PG courses for boys too.”

Young ex-Carmelites are tickled pink at the thought of young men roaming the campus. Revathy BS, a working professional in the city, says though boys will be in the minority, they will definitely change the campus environment. “It’s still sinking in! How can the college suddenly turn into a boys’ college too?” she exclaims.

Biocon boss Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, a Carmelite, believes an institution like MCC should be gender-neutral when it comes to imparting values. “If some parents are worried about the all-girls college factor, why are they not afraid when they daughters study in a co-educational school?” she asks.

Sr Arpana says the governing body of MCC took the decision with the objective of ensuring better utilization of infrastructure and to make it available to a wider section of society, and also develop competitive and social skills among the student community.

Opening up their world to boys has stunned Carmelites, and thrown up questions on how parents will react to the change. Alumni Jayavanthi Shyam, former basketball captain of Karnataka, says, “I think postgraduate girls are old enough to know how to behave, so parents needn’t worry.” But she wouldn’t have liked it during her time.

Geetanjali Iyer, second-year tourism student, says: “It will be embarrassing for boys to enter a girls’ college. They will be few in number compared to the crowd of girls. It will certainly not go down well with some parents; but for us, it doesn’t really matter.”

Says Mount Carmel alumnus Sheetal K, “There are many parents even today who are strict about sending their daughters to only-girls institutions. They might not welcome this idea at all.”

Sheetal and Revathy remember the loud banter sessions they had on the basketball court three years ago, and how boys were ragged silly if they dared enter the college gates.

The college, known for its sporting and extra-curricular activities, boasts of alumni like reigning Bollywood queens Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma, former foreign secretary Nirupama Roy and politician Renuka Chowdhary, who famously roared up to the campus on her Bullet 350.

Smart change

It is a pleasant change. We are losing out on a lot of seats. But I wouldn’t have liked it if it was introduced during my college days. We used to be in shorts and the classroom was like home.

Jayavanthi Shyam | former basketball captain of Karnataka

It is good to have boys in for postgraduate courses. Parents don’t need to be fussy about this new policy. In the real world, we have to meet a lot of people.

Nicole Faria | former Miss Earth

Grand old MCC

* Owned and run by the congregation of Carmelite Sisters of St Teresa in Thrissur in Kerala

* Affiliated to Madras University, transferred to Bengaluru in 1948

* Started classes in July 1948 with 50 students

* Set up to meet increasing demand for women’s education

* Initially affiliated to Mysore University

* Affiliated to BU in 1964

* Student strength of around 4,000 in undergraduate and postgraduate courses

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