Anti-FYUP camp cheers as VC 'resigns'

DU spokesman's initial announcement sparks celebrations, he later backtracks

Those demanding Delhi University vice chancellor Dinesh Singh’s resignation will have to wait.

The anti-FYUP lobby had erupted in celebrations on the North Campus when the university administration ‘confirmed’ his resignation on Tuesday afternoon after the row over over the four-year undergraduate programme – a one-year-old attempt at academic reforms.

“The VC has resigned,” DU media coordinator Malay Neerav told reporters. But hours later he backtracked, saying that it was an only an “offer” to put in his papers.

After his initial announcement, those standing at the VC’s office could hear the drums beating and loud celebrations, which took place half a kilometre away, as the BJP-backed Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad had pressed into celebratory mode.

“We were the only student group that passed a resolution against FYUP in our national executive meet,” ABVP national secretary Rohit Chahal said, adding that the VC’s resignation was imminent after the UGC’s directive to revert to the three-year course.

One of the congratulatory posters over the rollback of FYUP, outside Delhi University Students’ Association office, hailed former DUSU joint secretary and ABVP member Raju Rawat and Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani as heroes.

Three months ago, Rawat had faced rustication after he smeared ink on the face of South Campus Director Umesh Rai. The two had a heated discussion over FYUP.

The National Students’ Union of India too had joined the fray. “The continuous and persistent efforts of the NSUI have finally yielded results with Delhi University VC Dinesh Singh tendering his resignation. The NSUI has been protesting endlessly for the scrapping of FYUP through rallies and indefinite hunger strike,” NSUI spokesperson Amrish Ranjan Pandey said.

The Delhi University Teachers’ Association had also been demanding Singh’s resignation. And they were part of the celebrations too.

“The resolution apparently adopted by a majority in the Academic Council on Saturday asking the UGC to reconsider its order demonstrates that so long as Dinesh Singh continues as Vice Chancellor, the statutory bodies will not be more than rubber stamps,” the teacher body said in a press statement after DU apparently ‘defied’ the University Grants Commission’s directive to revert to the three-year course.

Sympathisers of Singh say he is a “reformist” and a “fighter”.

The university administration on Tuesday seemed to be backing Singh as the Pro-VC, the South Campus Director and Singh’s close aides also offered their resignations. But hours later they went into persuasion mode and asked Singh not to resign. 

“I don’t think he is resigning. He is a fighter,” the principal of a North Campus college said.
The celebrations were suspended after sources close to the VC confirmed that he was not resigning.

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