iconimg Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mallica Joshi and Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 24, 2014
Fifty-seven of the 64 Delhi colleges Tuesday agreed to go back to the three-year undergraduate course, signalling end to the logjam that has pitted the University Grants Commission (UGC) against DU. A vacation bench of the the Delhi High Court Wednesday refused to hear a PIL seeking restoration of the three-year under-graduate programme in Delhi University and scrapping the four-year programme.


The members of NSUI protesting against the FYUP at Arts Faculty at North Campus of Delhi University in New Delhi. (HT Photo)

A bench of Delhi High Court told the petitioner's advocate RK Kapoor that the matter needs an effective hearing and it can only be done before a regular bench.

The PIL sought restoration of the earlier three-year under-graduate programme as directed by the UGC, scrapping the controversial four-year under-graduate programme the university introduced last year.

There was still no clarity on admissions through the day that had its fair share of drama with conflicting reports of "resignation" of Delhi University vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh coming in. Singh had pushed for the controversial four-year course that the University Grants Commission wants scrapped.

At 3pm, the university media coordinator sent a message to reporters saying, "V-C has resigned."  An hour later, writer Madhu Kishwar stepped out of Singh's residence and denied that he had quit. Teachers and university officials, who met Singh subsequently, said the same. There was, however, no word from the V-C.


Though the colleges sent compliance letters to the UGC, they said admissions, which should have begun Tuesday, would start only after they get clear directives. Hundreds of outstations students landed at the campus, unaware that admissions had been put on hold.

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"While I firmly believe that academic matters are the privilege of the university, after I heard that the V-C had resigned I had no option but to send a report," a prominent north campus college principal said. "The report simply mentions that I have no problem with what the UGC has stated in its letter."

According to principals, the UGC called them repeatedly to send in the letters.

The regulator, which holds the purse strings, had on June 22 told the colleges to admit students only under the three-year programme and junk the four-year course. It had threatened to withdraw aid for failing to follow the directive. 

With the majority of colleges giving in, DU faces a peculiar situation. On Wednesday, it is expected to send in a compliance report to the regulator so that admission process can begin. The colleges that have not sent their response are mostly evening colleges.

The members of AISA protesting against the FYUP at Arts Faculty at North Campus of Delhi University in New Delhi. (HT Photo)

During the day, the Supreme Court declined to hear DU executive council member Aditya Narayan Mishra's public interest litigation against the UGC order and asked him to approach the high court.

Meanwhile, students enrolled in Delhi University's B Tech courses - commenced under the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) - heaved a sigh of relief Tuesday, as the UGC assured that their interests will be kept in mind when taking a final decision on the controversial issue.

"We have met the representatives of UGC and have been assured that they will give priority to the demands of B Tech students. Therefore, we have decided to call off the protest," said Amit Kumar, a student of B Tech who was protesting for four days against UGC's order to scrap FYUP.

Read: Aspirants from outside Delhi arrive amid chaos
Last year, HRD ministry had backed 4-yr course in high court

Hindustan Times reported on Monday how these students will suffer, since they took admission in a

B Tech degree course but will be handed a B Sc degree if the university reverts to the three-year programme. 

Earlier in the day, the students held another protest to protect FYUP. There are close to 2,500 B Tech students in computer science and electronics in the university currently. Around 1,50,000 applications have been received for the two courses this year as well. 

"We are the ones who are part of this system and it seems that an opinion has been sought from everyone but us. Talk to us and ask us if we want the course or not. We have said repeatedly that the programme should not be scrapped but be made better," said Shreya, a B Tech student who only uses a first name.

HT Edit: Who failed the students?
In pictures: Chaos in Delhi University over FYUP standoff