The suggestion to drop these papers and replace them with new ones comes after the curriculum review being taken by the committee based on the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
The Economic Faculty members of Delhi University from several colleges opposed a suggestion put forth by the Academic Council who met to drop three elective papers, namely, ‘Economy, State and Society’, ‘Production Relations and Globalisation’, and ‘Economics of Discrimination.’ They have sent an appeal to the vice chancellor, Dr. Yogesh Singh to withdraw this decision.
Du Beat later recalled that the Committee has probably recommended the merger of the first two courses into one course and it has altogether recommended the deletion of the third course. These recommendations are to be taken up for consideration in the Standing Committee meeting on 14.06.2023.
Speaking about the ‘Economy, State and Society’ paper, Nandini Dutta, associate professor at Miranda House and member of the Department of Economics’ syllabus sub-committee, said-
“In the AC (meeting), we got to know they are objecting to this paper as they feel there is an overload of Marxist Political Economy. Secondly, they feel many papers are repetitive. This is not true. These are three different papers. In fact, Economics of Discrimination was brought in as there was a demand for Dalit understanding and of economics for the marginalised. All three papers were passed in the department council… we told the AC that… rejecting these papers can do greater harm to our students, post which we wrote to the V-C.”
The points that the faculty members took into consideration before the Committee decided to make a final decision were as follows:
- The Committee had two specific mandates viz. a) to avoid overlapping similarity between courses and b) to include economics of developed countries in the course content. Given this, “We categorically state here that there are no overlaps whatsoever between these three courses or with any other course in the proposed Economics curriculum. A cursory glance at the course structures and reading lists will clearly establish this. Therefore, the Committee’s decision to merge the courses or delete a course goes against the very mandate the committee was set up with.”
They further added,
“Our plea is that all the three courses should therefore not be changed at all because they have been prepared through several rounds of deliberation and have been approved by the Committee of courses, Faculty Committee and the Standing Committee of the AC. Further, they entirely fulfil the concerns of “non-overlapping” and “inclusion of the developed country perspectives”.
2. Economics of Discrimination is a newly designed paper covering crucial aspects of discrimination such as caste, race and gender. This is a very topical paper with an absolutely contemporary reading list. It is ironical when in the same AC meeting, the honourable Vice Chancellor has himself taken interest that a course on the economics of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar should be designed, a course on economics of discrimination, which includes the writings of Dr. Ambedkar along with contemporary academic writings, is being eliminated.
Shriprakash Singh, Director of South Campus and standing committee member, said,“This issue was discussed in the AC meeting. Following that, a committee comprising top economists of DU and the country was constituted, which suggested dropping these three papers and replacing them with one paper on Political Economy. We had accepted it and communicated this to the EC.”
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