UGC issues fresh ultimatum to Delhi varsity

UGC issues fresh ultimatum to Delhi varsity

The University Grants Commission on Wednesday issued an ultimatum to the Delhi University, directing it to ask its colleges to admit students for a three-year undergraduate programme and submit a compliance report by Thursday.

The deadline was set by the higher education regulator after Delhi University failed to respond to its Tuesday directive, sources told Deccan Herald.

The UGC had directed the varsity to “immediately” ask its colleges to admit students under a three-year undergraduate programme, which existed before the contentious four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) was introduced last year.

The Commission’s fresh directive to the varsity came on a day when a vacation bench of the Delhi High Court refused to hear two petitions—one in favour of FYUP and another against the contentious programme—saying the matter will be heard by the “roster bench” in July (when the courts reopen) as it required “effective hearing which can’t be done by a vacation bench.”

A petition challenging the UGC’s order to scrap FYUP was moved by Aditya Narayan Mishra, a Delhi University professor, while a public interest litigation seeking restoration of three-year undergraduate programme was moved by advocate R K Kapoor.

“We understand the situation. The admissions will not be affected. There will only be a few days’ delay. The matter will be heard in July,” Justices Pratibha Rani and V Kameswar Rao said.

The bench said the matter could not be listed for June 27 as sought by the petitioners because Justice Rao did not wish to hear the matter.

Mishra approached the High Court seeking an urgent hearing on his petition. The Supreme Court had refused to intervene in the matter on Tuesday, directing him to approach the High Court.

The fate of over 2 lakh aspirants who applied for FYUP continues to remain uncertain. A group of students approached the UGC for continuing the BTech programme started under FYUP last year. The UGC told them it will place their demand before the standing committee set up by it.

B Tech aspirants

The students, however, urged that the BTech programme should not be converted to BSc, as that would put their future in the “doldrums”.

The UGC was learnt to have assured students that their demands will be placed before a standing committee set up to advise Delhi University on how to revert to the previous three-year undergraduate programme from FYUP.

There was an overwhelming view in favour of continuing the BTech programme but not the FYUP as a whole, in the first meeting of the standing committee on Monday.

Nandita Narain of Delhi University Teachers’ Association, however, was not in favour of continuing the BTech programme in its current format. She was of the view that the programme should be revised to bring it on a par with the four-year BTech programme offered elsewhere in the country.

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