Delhi University retains four-year undergraduate programme

Delhi University on Saturday rejected University Grants Commission (UGC) directive to scrap the controversial four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP).

New Delhi: Delhi University on Saturday rejected University Grants Commission (UGC) directive to scrap the controversial four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) and instead tweak it a little to make it compliant with the National Policy on Education (NPE).

DU`s Academic Council passed a resolution saying students seeking admission to undergraduate programmes would be admitted in three-year Bachelor`s Programme (B.A/B.SC/B.Com) in their Discipline 1 (major subject) and would graduate with the corresponding degree on three years in conformity with NPE, a university statement said.

The resolution, which was passed with 81 votes in favour and 10 against, further said the fourth year is an optional year for those students who wish to obtain a B.A Honours/B.SC Honours/B.Com Honours or B.Tech degree. Critics of the programme, however, said the changes were "superficial" as the structure and the programme remained the same and it was all a play of words.

DU`s Academic Council member Amitav Chakrobarty said the resolution also stated that the university will ask the UGC to reconsider its order. This was, however, denied by the university`s media coordinator Malay Neerav.

The Academic Council which had met to discuss changes and introduction of syllabi under the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) had to take up the issue of its continuation after a section of members asked the administration to place the UGC order for discussion.

The UGC had yesterday sent an e-mail communication to Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh, asking him to scrap the FYUP programme as it violated the 10+2+3 structure proposed in NEP.

In its order, the UGC had asked DU to follow the three-year structure which was prevalent prior to the introduction of FYUP from the academic year 2014-15 onwards and to make appropriate arrangements for students already admitted under FYUP to migrate to the previous structure.

"In view of the changed circumstances, the university has deferred the introduction of new skill-based Applied Courses as part of the Undergraduate Programmes which were to be initiated under the MoU signed between DU and National Skills Development Corporation providing assured jobs for a minimum of 42,000 undergraduate students," Registrar Alka Sharma said.

"Similarly, the proposal for the approval of the BTech course in Forensic Science for which a record number of 46,381 students have applied this year that was in agenda for today`s meeting has been deferred," she added.

Welcoming the UGC order and criticising the resolution passed by the Academic Council, DU`s Associate Professor and FYUP critic Vijaya Venkataraman said the resolution will create more uncertainty and confusion among the students.

Meanwhile, several teacher and student bodies staged a protest outside the venue of the Academic Council`s meet and the VC`s residence to demand roll back of FYUP.

A protest by student members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad turned ugly when police used water cannons against them when they tried to cross a barricade and move towards the vice-chancellor`s residence.
At its full commission meeting on June 13, UGC had asked DU to review the programme as it felt that it was in violation of the National Policy on Education which follows the 10-plus 2-plus 3 pattern.
In an earlier communication, DU had stood by the programme and maintained that it has followed due procedure in its implementation by carrying out necessary amendments to an university ordinance.

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