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Delhi University relaxes rules: A populist move?

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If Delhi University had a tumultuous admission session, in the course of which its popularity amongst students and aspirants may have waned, it is now trying hard to salvage that image.

According to fresh guidelines, those FYUP students who failed to clear their papers in the first year are to be inducted into the new three-year programme batch. Those three-year programme students who did not clear their second year papers are to be promoted to the final year. Under these directives, no college can fail a student enrolled in the old three-year programme while at the same time being bound to granting admission to the FYUP students who failed.

The university has also relaxed its attendance rules. Under the earlier requirements, students in professional courses required a minimum attendance of 75% while those in the regular courses required a minimum attendance of 66.6%. On failure to meet these requirements, the student would be barred from sitting for the examinations and their promotion withheld. However, under the new rules, no student can be detained on the basis of attendance. While a strong case can be made to support these new rules on the basis of the larger debate on education for learning, such an argument would lose credibility since no simultaneous measure has been taken to ensure that a comprehensive and continuous evaluation will be brought in place. To the contrary, the lax rules are likely to weaken the academic ethos of the university which has, so far, been strict with its rules pertaining to examinations and promotions.

While many students might be welcoming the rules on attendance, it remains to be seen whether this will have an adverse effect on academics. These developments are fairly recent, and in all probability, an outcome of the chaos that the university has witnessed with the change to the FYUP format and then the reversion to the old system.  It would help if the university specified its vision behind relaxing crucial rules, and reiterated its commitment to quality education.

[email protected]; Alankrita is a student of Journalism at Lady Shri Ram College for Women. Technology is one thing that terrifies her and at the helm of a good old newspaper is where she hopes to be one day. Reading, writing and holidaying (not necessarily in that order) are her favourite things to do. If not a journalist, she would be a politician, as goes the trend.

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