With a release of a notification on the University of Delhi’s (DU’s) website, the Examination Committee has declared that Dharam Shiksha will be added to the list of Ability Enhancement Compulsory Course (AECC) subjects.
In a surprising turn of events, The DU Vice Chancellor, has announced his plans to introduce Dharam Shiksha as a compulsory AECC subject from 2021. Currently, there are two AECC subjects, English Communications and Environmental Science (EVS), both of which are taught in the first year.
The new AECC subject, Dharam Shiksha will be based mostly on the Hindu Mythology and the Vedas, taught in either the third or the fourth semester on the discretion of the college.
Dr. Yojesh Tyagi, Vice Chancellor (VC), DU, said, “After intense discussions and deliberations on this pressing issue, we have decided that it is of utmost importance that our students learn about Hindu culture and history. We feel that studying Ramayana and Mahabharata along with other scripts will help students forge a life which is holistic. It will teach them to stay away from material sins.”
While this has been the justification given by the VC as to why there is a need for this course, the Officiating Librarian, DU, Dr. Narendra Kumar said, “Yes there is a need for this kind of a course, but there could have been inclusion of texts from all religions and cultures, given how DU is such a culture-rich University.”
The syllabus has been said to include the teachings of not just the sacred texts, but also the life lessons of many in the Indian History. This would include Biographies and Autobiographies of Swami Dayanand, Mahatma Hansraj, Swami Shraddhanand, Swami Virjanand, and many more. The Committee feels that the history and life lessons of these people is something unexplored by many college students.
The Committee has refrained from including concepts like idol worship a nd violence during the independence period so as to not harm the sentiments of any community. Rajan Kalra, a first year student of Dyal Singh Evening College, said “They want to inculcate the ideas of a moral life in college students who already live in a rebellious phase of their lives, they (college students) would directly try to oppose any moral education being taught to them, and also, it would be an additional subject which will be more of a reason for the hatred towards this decision.”
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Prabhanu Kumar Das