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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

DU academic council sends ‘controversial’ syllabi back to departments

While the syllabi of all other courses were passed without objections, those being offered by the four departments were sent back for reconsideration.

education Updated: Jul 17, 2019 07:39 IST
Fareeha Iftikhar
Fareeha Iftikhar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

Delhi University’s academic council (AC) on Tuesday referred back the revised syllabi of four departments—English, Political Science, History and Sociology--- after a section of the panel objected to the content of the courses offered by these departments and termed them “controversial”. The objections were raised during an AC meeting held on Tuesday to approve the revised syllabi of around 54 undergraduate courses. While the syllabi of all other courses were passed without objections, those being offered by the four departments were sent back for reconsideration.

The department will either remove the content or can defend its decision of not removing it before the executive council.

Rasal Singh, member of a right-wing teachers’ group in DU — National Democratic Teachers’ Front (NDTF) --- said the syllabi of these departments were sent back because they had “controversial” and “anti-national” content. “While the English Department had added a story that portrays a right wing group in wrong light, the revised syllabus of History department mentions Naxalism and Communism. Similarly, the sociology and political science departments have also removed important topics of Indian ethos and values and included anti-national content instead,” he said.

HT had on Sunday reported that the members of NDTF demanded dropping of a lesson from the syllabus under the BA (Programme) course as it portrayed “two members of a right wing group in wrong light”. They also objected to the inclusion of a paper on homosexuality, in the BA English (Hons) course, calling it controversial, and another on caste system.


Members of the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) protested at the venue of the AC meeting on Tuesday and demanded removal of “objectionable portions” from the syllabus of courses offered by some DU departments. A few officials, who were present in the meeting, said, the ABVP members also entered the vice-chancellor’s office, where the meeting took place, and disrupted the meeting.

ABVP Delhi’s state secretary Sidharth Yadav, said, “It is very unfortunate that the people sitting in the academic council are playing peddling Leftist ideology in the syllabus. We will protest till these objectionable contents are removed.”

Saikat Ghosh, assistant professor in English and a member of the academic council, also confirmed that the courses of these departments were sent back amid protest. “There was so much protest against the department heads and teachers of English and History and Political Science during the meeting that we were escorted out from the back gate. The English department will hold a meeting on Wednesday and see what can be done,” he said.

Veena Kukreja, head of Political Science department, said that she will call a meeting and discuss the objections raised by the DU council.

First Published: Jul 16, 2019 23:46 IST

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