The recent debate over the fate of Delhi University’s one year old Four Year Undergraduate Programme continues with the reports of University Grants Commission asking to finally scrap the FYUP. The programme which has amassed a lot of criticism since its inception has now received the support of the new Central Government. While protests both to roll back and not roll back FYUP continue in the university, the UGC’s current stand on FYUP is being questioned to have been influenced by the new government.
The UGC has recently appealed to the University of Delhi for review of FYUP on the basis of it being illegally introduced. UGC claims that the new course violates the National Policy on Education’s section on National System of Education that states for a 10+2+3 educational structure all over the country.Also, the University required the Visitor’s approval according to the Delhi University Act, the Visitor of all central universities, being the President of India.
The University defends its actions saying that it has the autonomous powers to devise its academic programmes with the consent of the academic bodies. The Delhi University Registrar, in reply to the review order by the UGC said that it had sent the amendment ordinance back in 2013 to the HRD Ministry.
Last Year, the Aam Aadmi Party was silenced on the issue by DU stating that FYUP was passed by the varsity’s academic and executive councils as well as the UGC. But, within a month of the establishment of the NDA, the UGC which was till last year calm about FYUP, has been putting pressure on DU to axe it altogether.
Until last year, the UGC supported FYUP on the basis that under the Kothari Commission, every university is free to vary the duration of its programmes. It may be noted that the earlier protests against FYUP were due to the hurriedly introduced Foundation Courses. The present protests by the students’ and teachers’ organizations calls for a complete withdrawal of FYUP, while suggesting ways to give degrees to the current batch in the next two years.
The DUTA President, Nandita Narain says, “The UGC has sent the letter stating that FYUP is indeed illegal and should be scrapped henceforth. The letter is with us. We are very happy with this decision. The new batch will study the previous 3-year course and methods are being devised to complete the degrees of the 2013 batch. But, what is shocking is that the Vice-Chancellor and his spokespersons are still playing the University’s autonomy card. They cannot take the law in their hands.”
Meanwhile, DUTA interacted with the HRD minister Smriti Irani earlier this month to seek support against FYUP.DUTA has also written a letter to the President of India, regarding the faulty, non democratic introduction of FYUP. The President has also been requested to order annulment of the controversial program under the power vested in him under the section 31(6) of Delhi University Act.
On the other hand, a senior Delhi University official says, “There is no truth in this news until and unless it is on paper. FYUP will not be withdrawn easily.”