For the first time in 17 years, the undergraduate Math syllabus of Delhi University will be discussed in an Academic Council (AC) meeting to be held on July 12. The move comes after DU’s Standing Committee on Academic Affairs gave the go ahead for the controversial revised Math syllabus for BA/BSc (H) students, thus clearing the path for its smooth passage in the AC meeting.
The revised syllabus, however— which will do away with BA/BSc (H) Math and give a singular BSc degree—would be implemented from the next academic session.
“Since admissions to both BA and BSc Honours Math have taken place under different cut-offs, it is not legally possible to merge the two now. Moreover, teachers will need time to prepare for the new syllabus, that has integrated computer software such as Matlab, Mathematica and Maple,” said a member of the Standing Committee on conditions of anonymity.
Architects of the revised syllabus have maintained the revisions will make DU’s Math course market friendly and students will easily find jobs. “Moreover, the software will help students visualise the problem with the help of 3D illustrations of figures,” said Geeta Venkataraman, Reader of Math at St Stephen’s College and a member of the Empowered Committee set up to look into the revision. “Most teachers are not familiar with the computer software but they will be trained through workshops,” Venkataraman said.
However, the proposed revision has already run into a lot of controversy, with teachers opposing the changes and the manner in which the University went about appointing an Empowered Committee for the purpose. “I am not opposed to the content of the syllabus but the manner in which University Ordinances, rules and regulations are being bypassed in the matter of revising the syllabus,” said Rajib Ray, AC member and member of the Democratic Teachers’ Front. “The Empowered Committee constituted by the VC to prepare the proposal in fact has no legal sanctity; it has usurped the powers of the Committee of Courses of the Department of Mathematics and the Faculty which are the bodies provided for in the Ordinances for all matters relating to revision of syllabi and proposals for new courses,” Ray said.
But with the Standing Committee giving its clearance, it is only a matter of time before the syllabus is passed in the AC and then sent to colleges for implementation.