On a day when a number of teachers and students rubbished Delhi University’s four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) as "anti-minority", Delhi University SC/ST Teachers’ Association welcomed the programme.
Lauding the decentralisation of admission for SC/ST students, the association said that the FYUP will be beneficial for the students falling under the category.
“The university authorities have assured us that poor students belonging to the SC/ST category will be exempted from fee. This will be also applicable to the poor students from the general category. We have been assured that no student of any category will be deprived of education because of the lack of funds,” said Dhani Ram, president of the association.
He also appreciated the freedom of choosing a college that students will get under the new programme from this year on.
“The new admission process will give students an option to choose the college of their choice and course change will also be allowed. These were earlier not possible and students were stuck with what the university gave them,” he said.
The teachers also appreciated the university’s decision to allow students to complete the course within a span of 10 years if they dropped out before four years. They also hailed the no retention policy in which students will not be held back if they fail to pass a subject. Students will only have to score 40% aggregate marks in order to get the degree.
However, members of the teacher community, who protested near the house of Congress president Sonia Gandhi at 10, Janpath on Sunday, claimed that the new programme is anti-poor and is against the weaker sections of society.
Those who protested on Sunday afternoon included Dalit leader Udit Raj and members of his Indian Justice Party.
Paswan joins protest
Lok Janshakti Party chief Ramvilas Paswan has joined the bandwagon against the Delhi University’s plan to introduce the FYUP from this academic year.
“There are around 600 universities in the country. If every university starts making separate rules for itself, then it will result in a chaotic situation in the field of education,” said Paswan.
The former Union minister also said that he will take up the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury has already appealed to Singh on this issue.
Paswan said that DU’s shift from the standard three-year academic programme at the undergraduate level should have been done after widest possible consultations. “Such important changes should be made only after discussions at the highest level, including Parliament,” he said.
Paswan’s protest comes amid a section of the academicians and student leadership’s allegations that the new course pattern is not in the interest of SC, ST and OBC students and others who hail from the weaker sections.