DU relents, goes to three-year course

New Delhi, June 27:

Delhi University Friday gave in to a UGC diktat and scrapped the year-old four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), bringing cheer to lakhs of aspirants. The varsity also constituted a committee of principals to devise the modalities for admissions, which can begin immediately only if DU calls the meeting of statutory bodies and takes approval for the three-year programme.

Delhi University

Speaking for the first time on the issue, Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani made it clear that the interests of students needed to be protected at all cost.

Making the announcement about the rollback, Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh said that the university had decided to scrap the FYUP, ending days of tussle between the varsity and the University Grants Commission.

“The University of Delhi recognises the need of the hour. It is of paramount importance to protect the interest of the students by ensuring the start of the admission process,” Singh, who was behind the FYUP programme, said in a statement.

“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 in all the colleges of the university of Delhi,” he added.

The varsity appointed 12-member committee of principals, chaired by Deen Dyal Upadhaya College principal S.K.Garg, to chalk out the road map for admissions.

“The vice chancellor has appointed a committee of principals, which will devise the modalities for admissions and monitor all admissions related issues in colleges so that the process of admissions is completed in shortest time and in a smooth manner,” DU Registrar Alka Sharma said in a statement.

The announcement ended the deadlock between the UGC and the DU over the FYUP which had led to the admission process to 64 of its 78 affiliated colleges being put on hold Tuesday.

It was the UGC’s directive to the varsity to admit students to the earlier three-year course which prompted the colleges to defer the admission process.

Around 2.7 lakh applicants have applied for admission to 54,000 seats this year in Delhi University, one of the oldest and the best in the country.

As the impasse ended, the HRD minister tweeted: “I respect autonomy of institutions. However institutions were created to serve people of the nation within ambit of law.

“This is the time for statesmanship which leads to resolution. Don’t sacrifice interest of students at altar of prestige,” she said, adding that she has asked all players not to stand on “prestige”.

University sources told IANS that the focus will be on starting the admissions.

“The modalities for reverting back to the three-year course can be done even after the admissions begin. The main point is to begin the admission process,” the sources told IANS.

Sources said admissions will begin after the academic and executive council meets and gives a go-ahead to the three-year programme.

Expressing delight at the rollback, Bhumika Thukral, a student of B.Com (Hons) said: “One, two, three. And yes I am a graduate!”

“I am extremely delighted that the VC has rolled back the four-year degree course. I believe that the FYUP was useless,” Mukund Sharma, 17, a DU aspirant told IANS.

St. Stephen’s College principal Valson Thampu said that now “peace will return” to the university campus.

“The students should not worry, surely the university is a body that will ensure to protect the interest of the student,” Thampu said.

Students outfits like All India Students Association (AISA) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – against the FYUP – welcomed the move.

“This is one of the historic days for us. The unity across political lines helped us win. VC is responsible for the delay,” AISA president Sunny told IANS.

The Delhi university Teachers Association (DUTA) who were the first to raise a voice against FYUP “welcomed” the move.

Though the rollback has been announced, there are a lot of practical issues in reverting back to the three-year course. Under the four-year programme, new courses were introduced, while some were scrapped.

The trouble has not ended, at least for the students who have completed a year under FYUP.

The B.Tech students are planning to protest outside Prime Minister’s Office Saturday as there course could also be reverted to three-year. The students want four-year course with a B.Tech degree.

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