The protest against the introduction of the four-year undergraduate programme in Delhi University reached the doorstep of Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday.
Beating the sweltering Delhi heat, teachers, students and activists tried to march up to the UPA chairperson’s 10 Janpath residence. Shouting slogans, they were demanding the rollback of the new programme.
A five-member delegation later went in to hand over a memorandum to Gandhi but was told that an appointment would be fixed for a later date.
According to police estimates, there were close to 400 protesters and the agitation was peaceful. The teachers and students, mostly from JNU, gathered near 10, Janpath at 11 am and stayed till the delegation was allowed to meet the officials. Dalit and minority leader Udit Raj and activists from his Indian Justice Party also participated in the protest.
The teachers claimed that the new course is in contravention of the national education policy that mandates graduation (barring engineering and MBBS courses) to be of three years’ duration only.
“We have pointed out the deviation from the national policy. We don’t think it is appropriate to take a decision in such a hurry without holding proper discussions,” said Vijaya Venkatraman, a DU teacher.
“Ever since Dinesh Singh took over as the V-C , disaffection among students and teachers has only grown. Recently the DUTA also passed a resolution demanding Singh’s removal. Yet the government and the ruling Congress have refused to take a position regarding such blatant acts of misgovernance that have extended into the FYUP,” a statement issued by the teachers said.