UGC letter last year 'backed' DU on FYUP, varsity got 'approval'

UGC letter last year 'backed' DU on FYUP, varsity got 'approval'

Commission in 2013 had written to DU on new degree course

Though it is calling four-year undergraduate programme illegal now and is asking Delhi University to scrap it, the University Grants Commission appears to have given a nod to the proposal last year.

A UGC letter dated May 1, 2013 from the University acknowledges DU’s letter on ‘nomenclature’ for a new degree.

It says it is up to the university to pick a name and concedes that the duration of a Baccalaureate degree may vary from university to university as long as it for the recommended ‘minimum’ number of years.

“While the duration of the programme may vary from university to university and even within the university, it may vary from discipline to discipline, as recommended by the Education Commission (1964-66), it may please be ensured that the minimum duration may be kept as per the provisions given by the relevant UGC Regulations,” said UGC Secretary in the letter.

But the DU’s annual Academic Council meeting on Saturday had to take up a new UGC directive –  where it asked to withdraw FYUP. The directive came just a day before the annual academic council meeting was scheduled and it pointed out that the programme violated the 10+2+3 format recommended by the National Policy on Education (NPE).

FYUP campaigners claim that UGC is violating autonomy of DU. “UGC has overstepped its own mandate, act and regulations in acting as a more than willing instrument of Ministry of Human Resource Development,” said Aditya Narayan Misra, Member of Executive Council, University of Delhi.

He said academic council, executive council and university court duly passed FYUP after deliberation and even voting. Amidst ambiguity, the university in its reply to the recent UGC directive had said it had modified FYUP to make it complaint with the NPE.

The registrar’s statement said the academic council had noted that “students seeking admission to… the undergraduate programme would be admitted into the three-year Bachelor’s degree programme (BA/BSc/BCom) in their Discipline – 1 (major subjects), and would graduate with the corresponding degree on the completion of three years, which would be in conformity with the National Policy on Education.”

Varsity officials say the issue of introduction of FYUP was first mooted in October 2008, during the Academic Council meeting. And since 2011, the programme underwent several stages of consultations – with students, parents, teachers, principals, Dean of Faculties and Heads of Departments – before it was introduced.

“The ministry has succumbed to pressure from anti-FYUP lobby. It has impinged upon university’s autonomy to structure and design its own curriculum,” said a senior university official, arguing that the change in guard at the centre has nearly killed the programme.