DU sceptics oppose UGC committee

DU sceptics oppose UGC committee

The University Grants Committee move to form an advisory committee to monitor implementation of the four-year undergraduate programme has been dubbed ‘pointless’ by a section of Delhi University students and teachers, saying it should have instead set up a review committee.

“What is the point of an advisory committee when admissions have already started? There are serious gaps in the curriculum and structure of FYUP. Academicians and public intellectuals have also pointed out the same. A majority of teachers from the varsity have voiced their concerns. How can an advisory committee fill the glaring gaps in FYUP by just advising?” said a student.

Split teachers’ group Academics for Action and Development (AAD), which supports the four-year graduation programme, called the advisory committee a direct assault and infringement on the autonomy and academic integrity

of DU. “It seems such a move originates under pressure from vested group, private universities and Left activism. This move is against the autonomy and upgrading of public funded institutions offering easily affordable quality education to all categories. Such a move will be strongly resisted,” said AAD member Rajesh Jha.

According to sources, DU is not pleased with the UGC’s decision of setting up a committee when the admission process has just started. “It will give a negative view of FYUP,” said an official.

More voices

To add to the plethora of divergent views, teachers and students group Joint Action Front for Democratic Education (JAFDE), which is against FYUP, did not accept and recognise the UGC committee, and instead demanded to scrap FYUP altogether. “In the order dated June 4, 2013, the UGC acknowledged that FYUP is a major departure from existing courses and curricular structure, and that it may present conceptual and operational challenges,” said a JAFDE member. “The logical step, after having acknowledged the existence of these challenges, would have been to put on hold the implementation of FYUP till they are cleared.”

Hunger strike

A DU professor from the Department of Hindi started a three-day hunger strike on Wednesday at Rajghat. The professor is of the view that the four-year undergraduate programme will be a deterrent for students coming from underprivileged backgrounds.

“Many students come from families who cannot afford to send their wards to private, expensive colleges. These are the first generation learners who come to broaden their mental and material horizons. Within their limited time and resources at hand, they seek to work for the DU degree, not a diploma,” said professor Prem Singh, former DU academic council member, showing concern on the intimidation of dissenters of FYUP.

Teachers who went to meet Singh said police harassed and threatened him to move.
“A few minutes after the fast began, it was interrupted by cops. Daryaganj police sent two sub-inspectors, who tried to push Singh out from Rajghat and threatened arrest, even though there was a good presence of people, including former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court and Sikkim High Court Rajinder Sachar, among others,” said a statement by People’s Union for Civil Liberties.

“It was only when Sachar demanded an arrest warrant that they went away, saying they will return,” said the statement.

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