Professors express concern over modifications to the economics curriculum, while the VC claims that it is an attempt to provide students with more options.
Following controversies over removing a chapter on Muhammad Iqbal and adding Savarkar in the syllabus for Political Science students, the University made another move that has sparked criticism. The changes made to the economics syllabus for undergrad students at Delhi University have not been accepted by many, and members of the University’s Academic Council have expressed their concerns.
The two elective papers that caused this debate are Economy, State, and Society and Production Relations and Globalization. These papers contain sections on Karl Marx which the members felt were identical. One of the Academic Council members, Monami Sinha, highlighted that these works are not similar and that Karl Marx is an integral part of the subject. Marx made one of the most significant contributions to the field with his theories that led to the formation of Marxism, although he, like many others, defined production relations, which are explored in the papers cited above.
Furthermore, Sinha claims that this should be viewed from the perspective of an academician and that one cannot and should not remove parts from the curriculum just because they do not align with their ideologies.
“Even if one wants to criticise the theory, it should be taught to students first. The VC has now constituted a committee where this will be revisited. It was suggested that we teach other models as well, which we are already doing” states Monami Sinha.
Yogesh Singh, the Vice-Chancellor of DU, also spoke during the discussion and clarified the situation. He claims that the University should be a platform that provides students with a variety of options and that they are in the process of incorporating other US and European models to broaden the base. He notes that the Core papers contain features of Karl Marx that are already being taught and that there are no changes to that. The goal was to provide students with more options through elective papers.
The committee has previously approved elective papers on Karl Marx and is attempting to introduce new models for students that would include Ambedkar and Gandhi’s economic ideas.
It appears from these statements that the University aims to extend the learning matter for students and that their preferences will be prioritised.
These curriculum changes made for the four-year degrees under the New Education Policy have been strongly discussed among academic circles in recent days. VD Savarkar’s ideals will be taught before Gandhi’s in Semester V, while Gandhi’s will be taught in Semester VII. This would imply that students pursuing a three-year degree curriculum would be unable to study Gandhi.
According to a recent declaration from the VC, this approach has been reversed, implying that the paper on Gandhi will be taught in the fourth semester, followed by Ambedkar and Savarkar in the next two.
With these recent developments, professors and students have continued to express their ideas and concerns about the overall shift and how it may effect students’ learning.
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