After a long tug of war with the University Grants Commission (UGC), Delhi University (DU) finally scrapped the controversial four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) on Friday, reverting to the three-year degree format and paving the way for the commencement of the stalled admission process.
Recognising "the need of the hour", DU vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh issued a statement, a copy of which was uploaded on the university's website, and said, "In line with the directive of the UGC the University has decided to roll back the FYUP. Consequently the admission process shall be conducted under the scheme of courses that were in force in the academic session 2012-13…"
Earlier, amid the stand-off between the UGC and DU, 57 of the 64 colleges under the university had agreed to revert to the three-year degree format, as instructed by the regulatory body.
DU registrar Alka Sharma sent a letter to the UGC on Friday morning, indicating the university was ready to draft a response "in accordance with the spirit of" the regulatory body's directives to begin the admission process.
TV channels reported that UGC shot off a reply soon after, asking DU to clarify its stand. Later in the day, the V-C's letter was uploaded on the website.
Meanwhile, human resource development minister Smriti Irani refused to be drawn into the controversy.
"There have been persistent attempts on me to speak on a constitutional issue which is not proper. Kindly do not compel me to breach constitutional propriety," PTI quoted Irani as saying.
According to an IANS report, Irani also made it clear that students' interests needed to be protected at all costs.
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The woes of an FYUP student
The FYUP controversy erupted a few days ago after the UGC asked the university to admit students only under three-year degree programmes and scrap the FYUP. The UGC even warned the university against strict action if the order was flouted.
Watch video: DU-UGC tussle invites mixed political reactions
According to the the regulatory body, the FYUP is not in accordance with the 10+2+3 system enshrined in the National Policy on Education, 1986.
DU's admission process was to begin last Tuesday (June 24), but had to be delayed due to the stalemate, as the university was not willing to budge initially.
Over 2.7 lakh students have applied for admissions to more than 54,000 seats in the 64 colleges.
DU had sent a proposal to UGC on Thursday to end the stalemate, but it was turned down.
In another major chapter in the controversy, reports started doing the rounds on Tuesday that vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh, who had pushed for the controversial four-year course, had resigned. Soon after, the university backtracked, saying the V-C did not quit.
(With inputs from agencies)