Making a difference

Gauri Chhabra
We live in an age of science and technology. The evident growth trajectory in science and technology is affected by the seismic changes in social and organizational dynamics. Of late, we have awakened towards the real cause of change and started gravitating towards disciplines in sociology that actually bring about the undercurrents of change and progress. We develop an understanding of the role of processes of institutional change and this proposes a retheorization of contemporary professionalism that today hinges on sociology and its disciplines. .Here we would try to understand the growing disciplines:
DEFENCE STUDIES- sounding the knell of stability:
In the wake of larger issue like political stability, geostrategic environment, economic and international relations and advancements in armaments and allied technologies, a discipline that has gained momentum is Defence Studies. It helps you to gain adequate military education, mainly the historical and geographical aspects. By gaining awareness on war and its associated problems, one can help the government in strategic policy development.
Why Defence Studies?
Defence Studies hinges on the belief that National defence is not only the obligation of those who are in armed forces but it is the responsibility of all who call themselves the citizens of the nation. To further this very cause,it inculcates an intellectual aptitude for national security and disseminate ideas of war and peace with greater understanding. Therefore, you would learn things, not only about national and civil defence, but also it would make you well equipped about defence and security in your day to day life.
Course Content:
The course curriculum touches on important questions of International law, Economy, International relations, Science and Technology, Area studies, Nuclear policies, Thinkers of war etc. Teaching and research activities are done in many universities of India, having as its primary focus on India’s national security. In all  departments of Defence studies the approach to the study of national security as interdisciplinary and such encompasses such as aspects like Geopolitics and Military Geography, Science and Technology, Economics of Defence, Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution etc. You would also study about terrorism and insurgency; information warfare and cyber terrorism.
Career Opportunities:
You can make a career as a defence journalist and later on graduate to being a consultant for Strategic affairs.You can join Armed Forces,Research, Tactical services,Teaching,Publishing and National security organizations. Besides, UGC recognizes the subject for Junior Research Fellowship.
Institute highlights:
There are a number of research institutes as well as universities ready to enroll postgraduates for research on defence-related subjects. The premier among these is the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis, New Delhi, besides many universities running postgraduate courses in the region. The department of Defence and National Studies, Punjab University Chandigarh is worth its mention:
Punjab University Chandigarh- Department of Defence and National Security Studies:
*Doctor of Philosophy in Defence Studies
*Executive Certificate Course in Disaster Management and Security – one year
*Master of Philosophy (Defence Studies)
*Masters of Arts (Defence and National Security Studies)
*Post Graduate Diploma course in Homeland Security
*Post Graduate Diploma in Disaster Management & Security
Other institutes:
*Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gorakhpur University,Uttar Pradesh, Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, offering  B.A, M.A, PhD, PGDDNSM Post Graduate Diploma in Disaster and National Security Management.
*Punjabi University Patiala, Punjab, Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Courses offered- M.A, M.Phil., Ph.D.
*Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University Defence and Strategic Studies Department, Courses offered- B.A/B.Sc., M.A/M.Sc., PhD, PGDMSD (Post Graduate Diploma in Military Studies & Defence Management).
*University of Pune Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Courses offered- M.A/M.Sc., M.Phil., Ph.D.
*M.J.P. Rohilkhand UniversityUttarPradesh,   Military Studies & Military Science, Courses offered B.A/B.Sc., M.A/M.Sc., PhD,
*North Maharashtra University Umavinagar, Maharashtra, -B.A/B.Sc., M.A/M.Sc., PhD.
*Jawaharlal Nehru University, School of International Studies, offering  PhD,
HUMAN RIGHTS- towards a better society:
The exploitation of immigrant and child labor, the caste system, and a lack of education and healthcare are just a few of the human rights issues that deeply affect India today. This has created a need for professionals who can take up the safeguarding of human rights as  a career option.
Getting in:
To enter the field there are multiple entry points, but a degree in Human Rights or specialized courses would help you get the knowledge and skills required. Universities offer certificate, diploma and degree courses specialized in Human Rights or offer electives/courses as a part of other degree programs, such as Political Science, Development Studies, International Development etc. For those interested in study of law, specializing in human rights or international law, after a basic law degree would be beneficial.
Career Pathways:
You can explore fulfilling opportunities with old age homes and age care centres and NGOs working with the disabled, orphans, destitute, refugees and drug-addicts. Human rights professionals can also work with established NGOs who operate in the field of human rights and civil liberties in general. Such NGOs also function in the area of human rights activism, disaster and emergency relief, humanitarian assistance, child and bonded labor, displaced people, drug abuse, conflict resolution and public interest litigation, among others. International Organizations like the United Nations, ILO, UNESCO, UNDCP, UNFPA, WHO, US Aid, Amnesty International, Oxfam, CRY, Red Cross, DANIDA, YMCA, YWCA and many more. Statutory government bodies and cooperatives in India like the national and state military, paramilitary departments, education institutions, research bodies and centres of excellence. You can also work with correctional institutions working in the fields of juvenile delinquency and child abuse as well as in women reformation centres, prisons and homes for the homeless.
Institute Highlights:
The National Human Rights Commission:
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)is responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights, ie “rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants. It may proactively or reactively inquire into violations of human rights or negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant and review the safeguards provided by or under the Constitution or any law for the time being in force for the protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation it engage in human rights education among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights through publications, the media, seminars and other available means.
Other Institutes:
*Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
*Andhra University, Visakhapatnam
*Cochin University of Science & Technology, Kochi
*Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
*Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
*Indian Law Institute, New Delhi
*Indian Institute of Human Rights, New Delhi
*University of Mumbai, Mumbai
*University of Madras, Chennai
*University of Mysore, Mysore
*J.N. Vyas University, Jodhpur
*National Law School of India University, Bangalore
*Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi
WOMEN’s STUDIES- The winds of change
Women’s Studies touches upon questions of gender in an interdisciplinary and comparative framework, thereby providing the space for creating a vibrant community of feminist academics, students, activists and artists concerned with issues of gender, sexuality and wider issues of power in society. We have witnessed the strong winds of change within academia, leading to path breaking feminist research in different disciplines, particularly in the social sciences and humanities. The growth of Women’s Studies Programs in different Universities and some autonomous research institutions has demonstrated recognition of the issues that have been highlighted by the women’s movement and feminist research over the years
Course Curriculum:
Women’s studies involve the study of gender as a central aspect of human existence. It hinges on the way society creates, patterns, and rewards our understandings of femininity and masculinity. It explores our gendered existence: how we perform femininity and masculinity and how this interacts with other aspects of our identities, such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and sexuality.
Career Pathways:
After graduating from Women’s Studies program, you may work social worker or counsellor, instructor or professor in university, lawyer, specializing in women’s rights, human rights, family law, or other area, researcher in a government department, project manager in a non-governmental organization (NGO),program coordinator in a women’s center, financial planner, with a focus on women’s finances, policy analyst in a governmental or para-governmental organization, perhaps as an employment equity officer or public administrator or a policy analyst in business and industry or in educational institutions.
Institute highlights:
Punjab University, Department for Women’s Studies:
The Department-cum-Centre for Women’s Studies and Development was originally set up as a Centre for Women’s Studies. It seeks both to interpret Women’s experiences as well as to change Women’s condition, through a transformation of consciousness, social forms and modes of action. It seeks to interrogate the entire system of socio-economic- political and cultural subordination of women as well as influence, reshape and recast dominant ideologies. It visualizes itself as a catalyst to transform an unjust, inegalitarian society into one where gender justice and equality would be the norm. It offers M.A. in Women’s Studies and Ph.D. Programme in Women’s Studies
Institute Scape:
*Indira Gandhi Open National University offering PG Diploma in Women’s Empowerment and Development
*Centre for Women’s Studies, Shivaji University offering M Phil in Women’s Studies
*JNU offering M.Phil and Ph.D.
*Centre for Women’s Studies, University of Pondicherry offering M.Phil, Ph.D
Summing up:
Therefore, if you wish to delve into the subtle truths of life and wish to gauge what drives the society and shifts in societal order, you can make  a difference in the society by going in for nay of the career options- Defence, Human Rights or Women’s studies.