No clarity on text to replace ‘300 Ramayanas’ | delhi | Hindustan Times
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No clarity on text to replace ‘300 Ramayanas’

delhi Updated: Nov 07, 2011 00:24 IST
Mallica Joshi

After the removal of AK Ramanujan's essay, 300 Ramayanas, from the syllabus for undergraduate students, the replacement is under question from teachers at the Delhi University.

Though the controversial essay was removed from the syllabus a month back, clarity on what it will be supplemented with is still lacking.

While the Academic Council had said that the essay would be replaced with two essays by historians Romila Thapar and RS Sharma, teachers say that prescribing syllabi is not a prerogative of the council, a view taken by all university experts.

"While the removal of the essay was undemocratic, assigning another essay in its place without having it passed by the Committee of Courses is completely undemocratic. The Academic Council does not have all historians as its members. Assigning essays and readings is a job best left to the experts, something that was completely ignored here," said Abha Dev Habib, member Delhi University Teacher's Association.

The process of making syllabi is handled at the level of the department where teachers and experts on the subject decide what to keep and what to leave out. In this case the process has been reversed. Not only was Ramanujan's essay removed despite three out of four experts saying it should remain, Thapar's and Sharma's essays were included without calling a meeting of the committee of courses.

"All of this happened despite nine members of the Academic Council dissenting in writing. The Vice Chancellor...seems to have buckled under pressure from right wing activists in this case," said a professor requesting anonymity.