Four-year undergrad, multiple entry-exit, credit system get DU academic council approval
New Delhi: The Delhi University’s Academic Council (AC) on Tuesday night passed with dissent a plan to implement the provisions laid down in the National Education Policy 2020, including the introduction of four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), multiple entry-exit scheme (MEES), and academic bank of credits (ABC), from the next academic session.
The AC, which has about 100 members, passed the agenda after a discussion on the recommendations submitted by a 42-member DU committee formed last year on the new education policy.
“The NEP structure has been passed including FYUP, MEES, and academic bank of credit and it will be implemented from next academic session. Yesterday, the standing committee discussed the matter for six hours and today as well, the matter was deliberated upon for two hours,” said Arun Kumar Attree, member of the standing committee for AC members. At least 16 elected AC members recorded their dissented.
AC member Mithuraj Dhusiya said the decision to implement the agenda was unfortunate. “It is extremely unfortunate that no substantial discussion was allowed on the matter of FYUP with MEES or on other agenda items. No voting was allowed and the elected members were asked to deposit dissent notes,” he said.
In 2014, DU was rocked by controversy after the then administration introduced the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), which was later scrapped by the government amid protests by students and teachers.
Under MEES, students who exit successfully at the first year will be awarded a certificate, and a diploma if they exit after the second year, and such students can rejoin the programme later on.ABC allows students to exit from one course at any point and save their academic credits to use it in other universities. The credit transfer will only be possible within universities that sign up for the ABC system.
The AC meeting also discusses other issues related to ad-hoc teachers, pending promotions, and delay in disbursal of grants to Delhi government-funded colleges.
During zero hour, prior to the NEP discussion, members raised several demands. The elected teacher representatives of the AC from the teachers’ group, Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), asked DU to intervene in a matter related to repeated non-renewal of contracts of ad-hoc teachers, due to issues in the teaching roster, at Vivekananda College. “The issue of roster needs to be resolved so that teachers are not harassed,” said a statement signed by Rajesh Kumar, Biswajit Mohanty, and Mithuraaj Dhusiya, asking for the removal of the college’s acting principal.
Teachers also demanded an intervention into the recent case where a Dalit Hindi teacher was allegedly slapped during a department meeting at Lakshmibai college. “Such incidents are extremely condemnable and violence has no place in education institutions. The principal has so far not been able to resolve this situation, which is unfortunate,” the teachers stated.
Several AC members also asked the university to hold dialogues with the University Grants Commission (UGC) to delay the implementation of 2018 order which calls for a mandatory PhD qualification to be eligible to teach in university departments. They also asked for absorption of all ad-hoc teachers and giving them benefits like maternity leave.
“DU must also facilitate immediate relief for teaching and non-teaching staff of 12 DU colleges that are 100% funded by the Delhi government. To give relief on a long-term basis, DU must explore options to make proposals for the takeover of these 12 colleges by Delhi University,” the teachers stated.
Apart from this, the AC members asked the university administration to finish the pay fixation work immediately to smoothen problems of promotions in some colleges. “Immediately financial relief should be provided to dependents of all working teachers who expired because of Covid,” they said in the statement.
Meanwhile, the DU Teachers’ Association (DUTA) also held a one-day strike outside the vice-chancellor’s office on Tuesday to protest against the NEP recommendations.
The teachers’ body has asked for wider consultations over the recommendations before placing them in statutory bodies like AC.
During the meeting of the Standing Committee on Academic Matters on Monday, several AC members raised their voices against the “loss of workload” that may arise due to the proposed NEP structure.
“This document at this stage is not fit for discussion in Academic Council and needs a major overhaul and that is possible only when it is sent for feedback from teachers in committee of courses and staff councils,” said AC member Dhusiya.
They also said that before implementing FYUP, the university needs to assess if they have the necessary infrastructure to accommodate students for a longer period.
The teachers argued that due to the design of MEES and ABC students can earn credits for non-core courses from other universities thereby reducing the workload.
Teachers also said that without giving much clarity on the job prospects for those who leave the institution with a certificate or diploma after their first or second year of the UG programme respectively, the MEES system will encourage more dropouts.