For the past several months Delhi University (DU) has been engulfed in protests, politics, allegations and explanations from the Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh, all in the name of university restructuring.
With the minister of state for HRD Shashi Tharoor calling the DU’s new programme ‘potentially very, very positive’, the noise has grown even louder. So what is all this brouhaha about?
The premier institution is rushing to convert its undergraduate degree into a Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP). The new format attempts to take an inter-disciplinary approach while making the students more ‘employable’.Passed in a marathon Academic Council (AC) meeting, the proposal got 80 votes in favour with six dissenting voices, while a large number chose to abstain. These dissenting voices and many more from outside the council are claiming that this change is being pushed in a hasty, unplanned manner.
“It is an extension of an overhaul that started in 2004 when internal assessments were introduced,” says Sanjay Kumar, an AC member. “The university strives to bring education across sections.”
The inter-disciplinary approach that will introduce many basic ‘school’ level courses into higher education is being seen as dumbing down of the knowledge process.
“The FYUP is anti-education,” says Amitava Chakraborty, a dissenting member of the Academic Council.
“The early exits legitimise drop outs and reduces core understanding. It requires a proper thought process and infrastructural consideration before experimenting on students.”