FYUP row: High drama over DU VC`s resignation; most colleges agree to UGC directive

In a significant development in the DU-UGC row over Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP), the Vice Chancellor of the University of Delhi, Dinesh Singh, resigned on Tuesday.

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

New Delhi: Brushing aside the resistance of Delhi University Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh who enacted a resignation drama, the UGC on Tuesday hardened its stand and directed scrapping of the controversial four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) and implementation of the old three-year course.

An overwhelming majority of the DU colleges, including the prestigious ones, has accepted the UGC`s direction, the Commission said in a press release in the night.

The UGC`s reiteration of the order came on a day of high drama when DU`s media coordinator Malay Neerav circulated a message that the "VC has resigned", which his supporters later denied, PTI reported.

After the VC and the DU media coordinator remained inaccessible for most part of the day, Neerav came up with a late night SMS to the media that the "VC hasn`t put in his papers".

"The Pro VC Shri Sudheesh Pachauri has already clarified in his press briefing that faculty members of the university met the VC and made an honest request to the VC that he must not resign," his statement said.

A day after the DU colleges` principals association decided to defer admissions, the UGC today said 57 of the 64 colleges under the DU, including prestigious ones, have said that they are complying with its directive to start admissions for the three-year programme.

The release also listed the colleges which have agreed to implement the three-year programme that inclue the Hindu College, Jesus and Mary, St Stephens, Miranda House, Sri Venkateswara, Lady Sri Ram College and Sri Ram College of Commerce.

"Today, the UGC sent another communication to the University of Delhi directing it to immediately issue a letter to the Delhi Colleges for admitting students to the three-year undergraduatge programme, the UGC said in a press release after six hours of deliberations with HRD Minsistry officials.

Earlier in the day it was reported that Dinesh Singh had resigned as DU VC. Reports of resignation came shortly after the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the row.

The SC dismissed a plea moved by the Delhi University Teachers` Association (DUTA) seeking cancellation of the University Grants Commission (UGC) order asking the Delhi University (DU) to scrap its four-year undergraduate programme.

The plea was filed by former DUTA president Aditya Narayan Mishra. The apex court also directed DUTA to approach the Delhi High Court for any relief in connection with the case.

A section of DU teachers in favour of the FYUP, today began a 24-hour long hunger strike against the UGC order. The teachers, under the aegis of Academics for Action and Development (AAD), alleged that the UGC`s directive to DU was an "assault" on its autonomy.

They have blamed the Human Resource Development Ministry and the University Grants Commission for the present mess related to DU admissions.

NSUI also held a protest rally in Delhi University against Dinesh Singh at 12:30 pm from Arts Faculty. B.Tech students of the varsity also staged a protest but later called off their agitation following an assurance from the UGC.

Reacting to the issue, HRD Minister Smriti Irani today said, “I am not in the liberty to speak on the FYUP tussle.”

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Irani had met UGC officials yesterday to discuss the situation.

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The admission process was to begin Tuesday.

While most of the colleges said no to admissions, Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) went ahead and released a cut-off list.

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"Delhi University is the authority. So it advised us to release the cut-off list and conduct admission. I am going ahead," SRCC Principal PC Jain told reporters.

The college later backtracked, and withdrew the cut-off list.

"We have taken the cut-off list back and also decided to defer admissions. We don`t know what will be the rules. So we again thought over it and decided to defer it," Jain later said.
The UGC had on Saturday constituted a standing committee headed by vice chairman H Devaraj, with representatives from the academic and executive councils of DU, Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA), Delhi University Students Union (DUSU), and college principals and teachers, to advise the university on the changeover.

The commission yesterday also issued a public notice against the FYUP in all leading newspapers for parents and students.

"After taking into consideration the larger interests of the students, they are hereby informed that they shall seek admission in a college of the University of Delhi only to the three-year under-graduate programmes, which were prevalent prior to the introduction of the FYUP and shall pay fees only for the three-year programme," read the UGC public notice.

The UGC issued the public notice Monday after its two previous orders in this regard were overlooked by the DU.

The UGC`s first order was issued June 20 and the second June 22, asking DU to scrap the controversial course started in the last academic year.

The commission Sunday ordered DU that it should make admissions for undergraduate courses only under the three-year programme, which was prevalent prior to the introduction of the FYUP, or face action under the UGC Act, 1956.

As the FYUP violates the National Education Policy 1986, which advocates the 10+2+3 system, the commission said DU must revert to the earlier system.

The UGC also stated that if DU and its colleges do not comply with its directives, the university could face strict action on the UGC Act of 1956 and that the UGC would also stop its grant facility.

Meanwhile, scores of AISA members also staged a noisy protest outside Shastri Bhawan - which houses the HRD ministry - and shouted slogans and waved placards. "We want an ordinance so that the four-year course can be changed back to the three-year course so that the future of students remain safe," said AISA member Prince Rajora.

With PTI inputs