The Academic Council decides to implement a Four Year Undergraduate Programme and National Education Policy (FYUP) from 2022-23 amidst massive resistance from teachers and students. Read to find out more.
Late on Tuesday, the 24th of August 2021, the Academic Council of Delhi University, approved the implementation of the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), with multiple entry and exit points, as part of its decision to bring into force the National Education Policy (NEP) from the academic year 2022-23.
The multiple entry and exit options will allow students flexibility and qualifications based on the number of years they have studied: A certificate for completing one year, a diploma in two, a three-year degree or a four-year undergraduate degree if they complete the course. Under the FYUP, the university will provide a choice between a three-year honours course or a four-year honours course, which includes one year of research, which will further determine the duration of the post-graduation degree obtained by the student. The FYUP will follow a blended model, with online and offline education facilities, along with a repository of credits earned by the students while in college.
Despite continued opposition from the teaching staff of the varsity concerning the FYUP, Dr Vikas Gupta, the registrar of the university told The Print, “The four-year undergraduate programme has been approved by the Academic Council with the suggestion that reshuffling of papers will be allowed with prior permission. Lateral entry of students will also be permitted — that is if after studying in DU for some time if a student wants to shift to another institution they can do so.”
Professor Abha Deb Habib, the Treasurer of the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) and an erstwhile member of the Executive Council said in a public statement, “We need to look at the whole thing in connection to the Swayam Regulations, whose clauses can be imposed on us any time. There is no change in the number of core papers under the FYUP, which will continue to remain fourteen. The fourth year, which is devoted to research, is redundant since research dissertation is already offered as a DSE paper in most courses which some students do not opt for because they are caught up with their entrance preparations.”
Abhigyaan, a student of Political Science at Ramjas College and an active member of All Indian Student Association (AISA), while talking to DU Beat said, “These last few days during which there has been such arbitrary tampering of the syllabus without consultation of teachers, erasure of DBA perspectives from the curriculum reflects the nature of qualitative changes which will be brought about by the NEP and FYUP which is dictatorial and pro-corporate.”
On being asked about the further plans of the organisation he said, “AISA will come to the streets to protest for the reopening of the campus and we will by any way reclaim our university and not allow this dilution of education. We will not accept this with our heads down.”
DU had earlier implemented FYUP in 2013 when Professor Dinesh Singh was the vice-chancellor but the programme was junked a year later by the Smriti Irani-led Ministry of Human Resource Development (now Ministry of Education).
By providing certifications at every level, we are reducing the degree to just a paper. Even if the student completes the honours course in three years and passes out, the job market is going to treat them as a drop-out. In the current economic crisis, this will be a massive setback for people from the DBA community and women who will be pressured into completing their degree in two years and quitting with a diploma. But in the long term, this will harm them because no one will offer them jobs with such a degree. Dropouts from minorities and marginalised communities will go up drastically.
Added Professor Habib
In the past as well there has been massive resistance against FYUP in 2013 and now the refurbished version of the same in the name of choice only seeks to create a system that will further alienate and exclude students from marginal backgrounds. It will encourage marginalised people to opt for diplomas and continue pursuing lower-rung jobs.
Abhigyaan in conversation with DU Beat.
In a tone of great exasperation, Professor Habib also admitted the decision of the University is an attempt to ape the functioning of Western education models which are already in place within private education bodies in our country. “But such institutions cater to a sector of students who usually leave the country to pursue education abroad. A central government whose purpose is to spread education to the masses cannot be so whimsical and unfounded in its policies” quipped Professor Habib.
. The implementation of the FYUP will be a systematic massive blow to education that is accessible and affordable for one and all and also the root cause of education in India. It will lead to the creation of a cheap labour pool and exclude students from accessing higher education because considering the stratified Indian society, it will be difficult for most to fend for fees for another extra year to ensure the completion of their degree.
Ananyo Chakroborty, a student of History at St. Stephens and a member of the Students Federation India (SFI).
Professors also claimed that several provisions of the NEP were not openly discussed with them, and fear that it puts their jobs at risk since the number of students will fluctuate annually.
Rajesh Jha, a professor in DU, told The Print, “Professors also claimed that several provisions of the NEP were not openly discussed with them, and fear that it puts their jobs at risk since the number of students will fluctuate annually. In a system where Professors are hired contractually, such a system will lead to a drastic cut in their workload and retrenchment”.
While speaking to The Hindu, Mithuraaj Dhusiya, an AC member dissented, “It is extremely unfortunate that no substantial discussion was allowed on the matter of FYUP and MEES and no voting was allowed and the elected members were asked to deposit dissent notes.”
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