DU-UGC stalemate: Hectic efforts on to work out solution

The admission process in the Delhi University remained stalled for the third day on Thursday.

New Delhi: The admission process in the Delhi University remained stalled for the third day on Thursday even as hectic negotiations were on between the varsity and the UGC over a compromise formula suggested by a group of academicians to resolve the stalemate over the undergraduate programme.

The DU ignored the UGC directive to commence the admission process, deferred since Tuesday, at once and instead wrote to the UGC recommending consideration of a six-point proposal mooted by some academcians which among other things sought replacement of the controversial four year undergraduate programme with a three years honours course.

Official sources said there was agreement on five of the six points under discussion and stalemate persisted on the idea that students wishing to study a fourth year can be offered a research programme in the honours course within an overall credit based system with the approval of the regulatory bodies.

Shortly after receiving the letter from DU, UGC chairman Ved Prakash met HRD Minister Smriti Irani for an hour and also held deliberartions with senior ministry officials.
Officials said UGC had categorically made it clear to DU to start admission under the three year programme or face freezing of grants.

The discussions went on till late in the night in the HRD Ministry but there was no word on what was the outcome.

Earlier in the day, ignoring UGC`s directive to start the admission process for undergraduate courses this morning, the DU threw the ball back in the UGC`s court by forwarding the academicians` proposal.

The UGC had last night set a deadline of this morning for
the Delhi University to roll back the controversial four-year undergraduate programme and start admission as per the earlier three-year structure.

In response, the DU sent a letter to the Commission which said "the university is of the opinion that given the situation where admissions are being delayed, time is the essence and hence this blended proposal submitted by some eminent persons to the UGC and DU may provide the necessary way forward.

"This proposal entails admitting all students to a three-year undergraduate course with honours and will also obviate the need to call for fresh registrations. We await your response in order to convene the statutory bodies at the earliest in the best interest of the students and the academic community," the letter signed by DU Registrar Alka Sharma read.

Speaking to media persons, DU`s Media Coordinator Malay Neerav said, "We received a new proposal wherein the honours degree will be given in 3 years. We won`t need much time to implement this proposal. We have written a letter to UGC stating the same. We are now awaiting UGC`s response on the new proposal from UGC."

As uncertainty loomed over the DU admission process, Neerav said time was "very precious" and the six-point formula would be much easier for the university to implement and start the admissions at the earliest.

"UGC has been writing letters to us urging us to start admitting students based on the old three-year format. We have told them that we need time to follow the old procedure because there are course committees, statutory bodies and they will need to meet for that purpose.

However, if we can tweak the existing (+4) course into the +3 format wherein BA (Hons) Degree will be given in 3 years, we can start admitting the students as soon as possible," Neerav said.

The proposal included admitting all students to a three-year undergraduate course in a Honours programme by reverting to several features of the old semester format and by drastically reducing the existing courses that are not in the honours and that which exists in the current format.

The second point is to validate the award Honours degree in three years, the main Honours courses may be increased to a total of 17.
The formula also suggested reduction of courses in number while the existing B.Tech courses may left untouched except for a reduction in the number of foundation courses.

For students who have been admitted in the past one year, the courses of study shall be modified by removing the foundation courses of the second year which may be replaced with a requisite number of DC-1 courses.

The academicians who floated the compromised formula include Samir Brahmachari, former CSIR Director General, Krishan Lal, former Director National Physical Laborotories (NPL), Prof Skand Tayal, retired Ambassador, Prof Akhilesh Tyagi, Director National Institute of Plant Genomics, Prof Arun Grover, VC Panjab University and Prof Anil Tyagi, VC, GGSIP University, Delhi.