`Four-year programme of DU against interest of SC students`

Opposing 4-year undergraduate programme of DU, a joint action forum said the scheme is against the interest of students coming from weaker section.

New Delhi: Opposing the proposed four-year undergraduate programme of Delhi University, a joint action forum today said the scheme is against the interest of students coming from weaker section, especially those belonging to SC, ST and OBC.

The forum for democratic education comprising teachers of the university and other leaders from the backward community also contended that Delhi University has no mandate on deciding on policy issues even if it was an autonomous body.

The group, which met higher education secretary today to express their reservation on the issue, said the financial burden of the extra year needed to obtain an Honours degree will hit students, especially those belonging to SC, ST, OBC and rural poor, who come to Delhi to obtain good quality education.

"Most of these students are forced to live in private accommodation, in very appalling conditions, and will not be able to bear the expenses of the extra year," it said in a representation.

In a release, it claimed the secretary assured the delegation that he would take it up in the meeting of the UGC to be held tomorrow.

The new programme entails awarding a diploma if a student exits after two years, a bachelor`s degree after three years and a bachelor`s degree with honours or a B Tech degree on completion of four years.

"In the proposed scheme, a degree obtained after three years will not be equal to an Honours degree obtained after four years. This will mean that students who obtain the three year degree (among whom will be a large number of SC/ST/OBC students) will remain unequal citizens," the forum argued.

Besides, percentages of SC, ST, and OBC students mandated by the Central Educational Institutions (Reservations in Admission) Act of 2006 will be systematically sabotaged as reservation will be implemented only at the stage of admission.

There will be fewer and fewer reserved category students in the third and the fourth year, it said.