FYUP imbroglio leaves students in lurch

DU ADMISSIONS

When 60,000 students became part of Delhi University  under the newly-introduced Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) last year, they had no clue they would be left in the lurch after completing the first year.

 Today, after completing a year of their FYUP programme, their fate has been put on stake as University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked the DU authorities to roll back FYUP and revert to the three-year graduation system, pointing at the illegality of the four-year course.

But the one question on everyone’s lips is why did the problem over FYUP arise after one year of its implementation? 

Amrish Ranjan Pandey, spokesperson National Students’ Union of India, the student wing of National Congress party says, “The NSUI has been protesting endlessly for the scrapping of FYUP course through protest rallies and indefinite hunger strike. The party has taken the protest to the doors of MHRD and UGC. It was the result of these persistent protests that the autocratic VC succumbed to the pressure. However, the ongoing struggle will continue till the restoration of the three-year system of graduation,” he says. 

Surprisingly, if NSUI was so concerned about FYUP, why didn’t they protest last year itself when the FYUP was being forcefully introduced by the then ruling UPA Government, led by the Congress – the party they belong to?

“It is a political gimmick. Nobody is concerned about our future,” says Sana Bhutani, a second year student of History, Miranda House.

“I don’t understand where was UGC when FYUP was being implemented last year. There were protests by other students union too who talked about its drawbacks. But why did UGC not took a firm stand at that time?” wonders Sana 

Supporting her view, Subhash Kumar of Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) raises the main point of the debate, “UGC is now pointing out that FYUP violates National Education Policy (NEP) of 1986 that says undergraduate degree has to be completed in three years. UGC should have raised the issue when the course was cleared and implemented by DU in 2013 despite several protests.” 

Ironically, if FYUP is rolled back, BTech students will suffer a serious jolt. Reason being, BSc courses in computer science and electronics were converted into BTech under FYUP, keeping these courses at par with the engineering courses offered in other colleges. 

Rahul Sarkar of All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO) says, “Already FYUP in comparison to three-year graduation system has limited the choice for students. It also has multiple exit points which ruin the comprehensiveness of the earlier graduation system. Above all, it is a matter of concern whether the BTech courses will remain functional or not?”

On a critical note he says, “the DU Vice Chancellor was instrumental in implementing the reform in a most autocratic and undemocratic way, bypassing all the established norms, last year. The protests of the students, teachers, parents and academic community was simply ignored and brushed aside.”

As the UGC and DU struggle to come to a solution that will not adversely impact the students’ future, it is high time that the Government seriously considers improving the higher education system in the country. 

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