In what comes as a shot in the arm for protesters – including numerous students and teachers – the University Grants Commission (UGC) Monday issued an advisory to Delhi University (DU) to reconsider its four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP). However, the move, which coincided with the last day of submitting admission forms at the varsity, has also perplexed many aspirants and their parents.
The communication said that the UGC advisory committee report had found that the course – launched last year amid severe criticism and opposition from a section of the teachers’ association and students – was not in sync with the customary 10+2+3 programme. In fact, in its manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls, Delhi BJP had promised to roll back the programme.
Maintaining that the Union ministry of human resource development had informed the commission that prior approval had not been sought for the four-year programme, the letter has asked for a total review of the course.
The advisory comes two days after the meeting of the commission, in which all the members had agreed that the programme launched by Delhi University was in violation of the national education policy. UGC had examined the implementation of FYUP and found that the programme had been introduced without obtaining the approval of a competent authority – in this case the President of India.
On Saturday, the commission had issued a notice to all vice-chancellors saying no university should confer a degree in violation of UGC Act. “If a university wishes to award a degree other than the one specified by UGC, it would have to approach UGC for its approval six months prior to starting the degree programme with full justification for the course to be started,” the notice said. The DU vice-chancellor, however, unfazed by the developments, has called a meeting of the academic council on June 21 to secure approval for new courses under it.
“The Delhi University Teachers Association will observe joint students-teachers protest on June 21 from 8.30 am onwards. The agenda on FYUP is illegal and the DUTA demands that the meeting be cancelled forthwith,” DUTA president Nandita Narain said.
Meanwhile, representatives of students and teachers under the banner ‘Save DU Campaign’ submitted a memorandum to HRD minister Smriti Irani Monday.
“We are shocked to learn that the university did not even seek the Visitor’s (President’s) formal approval for the FYUP. The present outcome clearly indicates that the university has been running courses under the FYUP in an illegal manner,” the memorandum said.