Joining the ranks of critics of Delhi University's proposed four-year undergraduate programme, Congress leader Rashid Alvi has sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to "rescue the university from its decline" and demanded that the existing courses should not be removed in the name of reforms.
In a letter to Singh, Alvi said the four-year undergraduate course was being hurried through for its introduction from this year.
"A major change which is going to affect without being debated in a transparent and democratic manner. Impression is being given through media that all teachers were involved, on the contrary the reality is that a task force formed by vice chancellor is instrumental in bringing all illogical changes.
"The vice chancellor can get any resolution passed because the composition of the executive committee is like this. Nobody is opposing reforms in the university, but the new courses may be started without removing all existing courses," Alvi has said in the letter.
Alvi said there should be an impartial enquiry into the probable benefit to private universities due to introduction of the new four-year system.
The Rajya Sabha MP appealed to the Prime Minister to defer the four-year degree course, saying most parents would not be in a position to "waste huge money and extra one year of their beloved sons and daughters."
The letter comes just days after HRD minister Pallam Raju supported the programme in his statement to Parliament in which he said it was approved by the university court and the students at large after exhaustive deliberations.
DU vice chancellor Dinesh Singh had also claimed recently that the initiative has been getting due support from students as well as university faculty and it was taken after two years of research and consultation with various stakeholders.
Several political leaders, including Sitaram Yechury (CPI (M), OP Kohli (BJP), Agatha and PA Sangma (NCP), Mani Shankar Aiyar (Congress) and Prem Gupta (RJD), have earlier raised their voice against the introduction of the new system.
The four-year programme with multiple degree options will entail a shift from the present 10+2+3 scheme to a four-year graduation with multiple exit points.
The new system, which is being watched closely by other universities, seeks to introduce interdisciplinary pedagogy, enhance the quality of education and impart employable skills.
The proposal has given rise to apprehension among students who come from across the country to seek admission in DU about the duration of the post graduate level course.