The UGC Wednesday cracked its whip on Delhi University, asking its colleges to start admitting students under the three-year undergraduate course "immediately". The diktat may bring cheer to over two lakh students left in the lurch due to the ongoing tussle between the two bodies.
A source in the University Grants Commission (UGC) told IANS that DU colleges have been told to begin the admission process, which was deferred by the colleges Monday in the absence of clarity on the question of rolling back the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) to the earlier three-year course.
In a letter to DU Registrar Alka Sharma, UGC Secretary Jaspal Singh Sandhu said: "You are to immediately issue letters to the Delhi colleges directing them to admit students in the three-year undergraduate programme."
"Since the UGC has already issued directives to the University of Delhi for offering the three-year undergraduate general degree programmes, instead of FYUP, from academic year 2014-15, you are directed to commence the process of implementation of the directives of the UGC forthwith and take appropriate steps immediately for admitting students to the three-year undergraduate programme," the letter said.
However, DU was yet to confirm whether it was in receipt of any such directive.
But DU in a statement said it has "received today (Wednesday) a document, from some eminent citizens, outlining concrete suggestions for the solution of the current situation as it exists".
"While welcoming this initiative, the university is examining in detail the document and is working with the expectation that the admission process shall be able to commence soon."
The statement was in reference to the 20-member group comprising vice chancellors of various universities along with principals and professors of DU colleges who Wednesday put forth a proposal to resolve the impasse between the university and the UGC.
The group appealed to the two bodies to consider providing "a three-year honours programme that is easily devised by reverting to several features of the old semester format and by drastically reducing the existing courses that are not of the honours stream and that exist in the current (four-year) format".
The group includes St. Stephen's principal Walson Thampu, Panjab University vice chancellor Arun Grover, and Anil Tyagi, vice chancellor of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi.
The group also appealed for the validation of an honours degree in three years, and said that the main honours courses may be increased to a total of 17.
"The foundation courses may be reduced in number and may be offered only in the first year. Further, a choice may be built into the format for these courses," the appeal stated.
According to sources, the UGC standing committee, which was set up June 21 to advise DU to migrate from the FYUP to a three-year one, will meet Thursday 5 p.m.
For the second day Wednesday, students were confused over the admission process as the DU colleges were unsure about the roadmap on restoring the previous three-year course.
This was despite the fact that 57 DU-affiliated colleges had agreed to the UGC's order of admitting students to the three-year undergraduate course Tuesday.
There are a total 78 colleges in the university, and 2.7 lakh students have applied for admissions this year.
The Delhi High Court Wednesday also refused to hear a petition seeking restoration of the three-year-course and the scrapping of the controversial FYUP. The Supreme Court had dismissed a similar plea Tuesday.
Protests, for and against the FYUP, continued Wednesday. Representatives from various students' and teachers' organisations and individuals under the banner of the "Save DU campaign" held a meeting during the day and expressed concern over the continuing delay in the undergraduate admissions.
However, a clear picture emerged over the university vice chancellor Dinesh Singh's resignation, with DU media coordinator Malay Neerav making it clear that Singh still holds the position.
"There has been no progress on the matter. We are still waiting for a clear cut directive from DU. Despite sending a resolution to the vice chancellor Monday followed by a letter to the UGC, we are yet to hear from the university," Ram Lal Anand College principal Vijay K. Sharma told IANS.