A turbulent year for higher education

Amid lot of dissidence from within, Delhi University rolled out several new policies

Delhi University, one of the largest central universities in the country, recently announced it’s changing the course structure of its undergraduate programme from three to four years with multiple exit options.

Several concerns were raised by student and teaching community. Students spoke about their ‘woes’ ranging from semester system to ‘teething troubles’ in the online admission system which was introduced for the first time and hundreds of them being detained by colleges.

Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections witnessed members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) alleging foul play and losing three posts in the central panel to rival National Students’ Union of India (NSUI).

Due to delay in the results of the semester-end exams, the authorities brought out several changes in the examination process. The vice chancellor  made it mandatory for students to write father’s name and their name as well apart from the roll number on answer sheet.

New rules also suggested that three teachers would check parts of the answer sheet to do away with the re-evaluation process.

After meeting with strong opposition from DUSU and Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) over personal information in answer sheet, the university revoked the decision eventually.

The option of special chance beyond a stipulated time was also scrapped.
This year proved to be turbulent for DU in the face of massive protests by students, teachers and non-teaching staff unions.

DUTA organised a relay on hunger strike for 50 days which ended without any of its demands being considered.

Recently, VC faced plagiarism charges when five of his 22 publications penned by others were listed under his name on a well-known research website.

Left-leaning teachers had raised concerns and asked for an independent inquiry into the matter.

Moreover, the entrance test format of Indian Institute of Technology underwent changes under the former human resource development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal.
For Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), it was decided that those who score in the top 20 per cent of their board exams will take the main or multiple-choice exam. The format will come into effect in 2013.

Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) also came into the spotlight as its unrecognised teachers’ association highlighted the ‘malpractices’ going on in the varsity.

The university, which comes under Delhi government, does not accept a teachers’ union. Apart from them, conditions were not quite favourable for students either as around 50 PhD students wrote their examination in the parking lot of another private univeristy.

Recently, students from the department of law and legal studies complained against the behaviour of the dean to the VC. As a result, a detention list of around 70 law students was prepared.

After protests, the decision was revoked and the VC announced an independent inquiry against the dean.

Jawaharlal Nehru University which had started online admission process this year, also offered the option of filling forms offline after facing heat from students.
The physically handicapped category students sat on hunger strike demanding  JNU to look into the growing number of dogs inside the campus, following which the varsity took several measures such as sterilisation and framing strict rules on feeding points.

The much-awaited students’ body polls took place again within a span of six months. Several senior members from Students’ Federation of India (SFI) affiliated to Communist Party of India (CPI-M) snapped their ties and formed a new party SFI-JNU over ideological differences in the party.

SFI-JNU candidate for president won the JNUSU elections and three All India Students’ Association (AISA) members grabbed other posts in the central panel.
Touted as a big step in the education field, DU and Jamia Millia Islamia began admission process of a joint degree under the Meta Univeristy concept.

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