DU-UGC admission tussle: Students' future at stake

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New Delhi, June 24: Amid standoff between the University Grants Commission (UGC) and Delhi University (DU) over the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), fate of lakhs of students of DU, Asia's one of the largest acclaimed university, is in limbo.

[Read: UGC-DU row over FYUP reaches Delhi High Court]

The university may have stuck to its guns for now, but the fate of students who had already enrolled in the course is uncertain.

The BTech students who enrolled in various colleges of the university are amongst the worried lot. If this four-year BTech programme is scrapped, then these students will not get a BTech degree and will be deprived of their engineering qualification which will affect their career immensely.

Apprehending a better future after earning a degree from DU might have inspired students to apply in large numbers from across the country but they are now skeptical about their future prospects.

Experimentation in universities on a daily basis means students are no more than guinea pigs. Surely it is not in best of their interest, experts say. The university administration needs to create a good academic atmosphere in the campus but protests and strikes are not in anybody's interest.

UGC wants DU to go back to the three-year undergraduate programme

Around the same time last year, the UGC and Ministry of Human Resource Development had given a go-ahead for implementing the FYUP. It's the same UGC now who has directed the DU to scrap the course.

From July 2013, the undergraduate programmes were shifted from a three-year degree programme to a four-year course under which students have to complete 11 compulsory foundation courses in their first 2 years at college. Apart from 11 mandatory foundation courses students have to take 2 discipline courses out of which one is a major subject.

Students under these programmes will get an Associate Baccalaureate after 2 years and will get a Baccalaureate after 3 years. After four years, students will be given a Baccalaureate with Honours.

What UGC wants:

UGC wants DU to go back to the three-year undergraduate programme, which was prevalent before the introduction of the FYUP.

The UGC says, "The FYUP introduced by DU in the 2013-14 academic session was not in consonance with the National Policy on Education (1986) and 10+2+3 structure envisaged under it and the University of Delhi has not followed the procedure prescribed in the Delhi University Act, 1922."

UGC has also said that students should seek admission to the three-year undergraduate programme in DU and not to FYUP. It has also said that DU should inform all its colleges to admit students to the previous three-year programme.

What DU is saying:

The Delhi University has decided to stick largely by its earlier decision despite the recent directive from the UGC.

Maintaining that all the procedures have been carried out as per law DU said, "Have taken all other steps to adhere to the three-year programme as envisaged under the 10+2+3 structure under the National Education Policy 1986, while ensuring students are facilitated through the process of transacting the cirriculum made in compliance of the NEP and as per UGC concerns."

Current status

Thirty-six colleges of Delhi University have announced that they will not start the admission process till the time the conflict between the University and the UGC does not end over the FYUP.

The DU Vice Chancellor, Dinesh Singh who was the brain behind the FYUP resigned on Tuesday afternoon. The resignation came amid widespread protests by the concerned students and teachers over the FYUP logjam. Even the Supreme Court also refused to stay the notification by the UGC, scrapping the four-year undergraduate programme with immediate effect.

To protest against the UGC's order for its roll back, a group of teachers in favour of the move went on a 24-hour long hunger strike on Tuesday.

What if FYUP is scrapped?

Appropriate arrangements should be made by the Delhi University for students who are already admitted in the academic year 2013-2014 in the FYUP to migrate to the three-year programme structure so that they do not lose an academic year for obtaining undergraduate degree.

Those who have taken admission in BTech courses can be given an option to exit after three years with a BSc (honours) degree while those who want to continue for a year will be given a BTech degree.

Experts say:

The experts are saying that UGC's letter is an attack to the Delhi University autonomy and is taking away freedom from the University to decide the its course structure. Political commentator Kanchan Gupta opines by saying, "University autonomy sounds nice. Should be too. But then universities should raise own resources and not live on state funds. Can't be both."

Talking about the Vice Chancellor of DU he further said, " DU VC is Tughlaqian. Last year filed an affidavit declaring DU a "state"! Had to withdraw it."

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