DU admissions stalled, protests continue; Delhi HC rejects PILs on FYUP

Delhi University, University of Delhi, DU Admissions, FYUP, University Grants Commission, DU Vice Chancellor, Dinesh Singh, Delhi High Court, DUTA

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to give an urgent hearing to two cross petitions, one for implementation of the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) and the other against it.

The petitions were mentioned before a vacation bench of justices Pratibha Rani and V Kameswar Rao which said, "The matter requires effective hearing which can`t be done by a vacation bench. It will be heard by the roster bench in July."

The plea challenging the University Grants Commission`s (UGC) notification to scrap FYUP has been filed by Delhi University professor Aditya Narayan Mishra, while the PIL seeking implementation of the commission`s decision to restore the earlier three-year undergraduate programme has been filed by advocate RK Kapoor.

The Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members today staged protest against Delhi University Vice chancellor demanding the scrapping of the FYUP.

The development came a day after it emerged that Delhi University Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh has put in his papers over the FYUP row.

However, conflicting reports today denied that he has resigned even as most varsity colleges agreed to comply with the University Grants Commission (UGC) order to admit students to the 3-year undergraduate course.

Also Read: Delhi HC refuses to give urgent hearing to petitions on FYUP

ANI quoted Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani as saying, “I can`t comment on something I have no information of.” Meanwhile, Delhi University Teachers` Association (DUTA) president Nandita Narain said, “DU VC is behaving like a terrorist.”

Adding a fresh twist to the FYUP row, it emerged on Tuesday said that DU VC Dinesh Singh has resigned in the wake of a row over the controversial four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP). The whole drama unfolded after joint dean of students` welfare and media coordinator Malay Neerav announced that Dinesh Singh resigned in the wake of a blazing row with the UGC over the FYUP issue. But hours later, Sangit Ragi, deputy dean for academics, denied that Dinesh Singh had quit.

In between, Delhi University Pro Vice Chancellor Sudhish Pachauri made an appeal to Singh to take back his resignation. Activist Madhu Kishwar also claimed that the DU Vice Chancellor has not resigned from the post, but added that pressure is being mounted on him to do so.

"I have met the VC personally. He has said it clearly that he hasn`t resigned. There is a lot of pressure on him to resign," said Kishwar. She further alleged that on Monday Dinesh Singh had gone to meet HRD Minister Smriti Irani but he was made to wait for one hour.

Also Read: Don`t have the liberty to speak on FYUP tussle, says Smriti Irani
Amid reports of Singh`s resignation, the UGC said that of the 64 colleges, 57 have agreed to "comply" with its directive to admit students only to the three-year undergraduate course.

However, the colleges sought a "clear directive" on the issue.

"The UGC has sent another communication to the University of Delhi directing it to immediately issue letters to Delhi colleges for admitting students to the three-year undergraduate programme," the statement said.

DU, considered one of the top universities in the country, has 78 colleges affiliated to it.

The UGC also assured all the students "that no student will be put to any inconvenience and the interest of students will be protected".

The assurance came after confusion over the admission process that was scheduled to begin Tuesday but was deferred by the colleges citing "lack of clarity and conflicting guidelines".

Also Read: Delhi University council full of fools: Atul Anjan
Confirming that the DU colleges had written to the UGC, Ram Lal Anand College principal Vijay K. Sharma said, "In the letter, we have asked the competent authority to give us a clear directive on how we are supposed to go forward."

A total of 2.7 lakh students have applied for the 54,000 available seats in the DU colleges.

The announcement of Dinesh Singh`s resignation sparked wild celebrations by students bitterly opposed to the FYUP and angry reactions from those who supported the vice chancellor.

Teachers sympathetic to Dinesh Singh, whose pet project FYUP came into being last year, said he quit after the UGC threatened to freeze the university`s funds over the programme and Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani refused to intervene.

In the evening, Dinesh Singh`s lawyer Suraj Singh told the media that he had not quit and was still the vice chancellor.

The standoff between DU and the UGC over scrapping the FYUP has left 2.7 lakh applicants in the lurch.

The tussle began June 20 when the UGC directed DU to scrap the course and replace it with the original three-year programme. Despite the UGC`s repeated reminders, the university remained non-committal.

Also Read: Three year course better for DU students: BJP
Attacking Dinesh Singh and the previous UPA government, Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) president Nandita Narain said the association considers the FYUP an "irresponsible succumbing of the statutory bodies to the whims of the vice chancellor".

It said that before implementing the FYUP, the university did not examine the infrastructure, teachers and other necessities to accommodate 33 percent more students in each college.

But DU`s executive council member Aditya Narayan Mishra described the FYUP as "good".

The Supreme Court dismissed a public interest litigation seeking quashing of the FYUP, and asked the petitioner to approach the Delhi High Court. The Congress, meanwhile, accused the Narendra Modi government of creating a "mess which was never seen in Indian education system".

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