Nationwide stir next, protesters warn university

With two days left for Delhi University (DU) admissions to start under the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), student groups of DU, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia came together on Monday to protest against the new graduation structure.

Protesters at North Campus burned effigies of the Prime Minister, Union human resource development minister and the DU vice chancellor.

“The university administration and police refused to allow the protest to take place.
But the student organisations, teachers and DU students went ahead and participated in the demonstration despite repeated threats from the administration security and police,” said a member of Democratic Students’ Union.

“The students demanded to speak to the VC, but the administration agreed to send the proctor. We refused to talk to anyone but the VC.”

DSU, Campus Front of India and the Students’ Islamic Organization organised the protest.

“Why isn’t the VC discussing concerns raised by academics and experts, who feel that the underprivileged sections will be the worst hit by FYUP? DU gets 70 per cent students from Hindi medium background. There is already lack of study material translated in Hindi,” added the member.

“The exit point policy will be a deterrent for this section as students areunder a lot of pressure (financially and socially) to get a degree and a job.”

The protest was followed by a candlelight vigil at India Gate, organised by teachers and students’ group Joint Action Front for Democratic Education, which announced plans of a nationwide campaign to start in a few days. Members of JNU students’ union also joined the vigil.

“Admissions to DU will start on June 27 (first cut-off list). We will go to other cities and villages and raise awareness among the public about the dangers of FYUP for reserved category and poor students. This is not an internal matter of the varsity anymore; it involves the future of many students,” said a protester.

According to students, apart from increased financial burden for an extended year to get an Honours degree, mandatory studying of English, Science and Maths under the foundational course will discourage those who, after a lot of struggle, are able to reach college.

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