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The policy-behemoth of 2020, the NEP, has begun to seep into the cogwheels of the state machinery, and an ugly picture now stands before us. Has the NEP oiled the machine or soiled it?

With its first major revision since 1986, the New Education Policy of India (NEP), cradling promises to remedy the fractured education system and its often dysfunctional multiplicity of boards, targeted skill-sets and examination protocols, has finally started to lose moss as it roars down the steep slope of universities and schools dotting the Indian landscape alike, and needless to say, it poses the threat to obliterate the status-quo hitherto observed. The question remains whether an overhaul of such prodigious proportions should be a welcome change. Do Indian institutions, and in fact, the institute that is India itself, possess the capacity to contain it and not crumble in the process? Perhaps a fortification is imperative. Have we given the political and academic structures adequate time to recalibrate and fortify themselves in order to welcome the change? 

Indeed, having to model the Indian paradigm of education after the Americans presents appealing prospects to those who wish to pursue their higher education abroad. Statistically, we must determine how much of the student population that truly represents. One need not resort to the numbers, however, to infer that it must not constitute a generous portion of the Indian-student demographic. A disparate wealth distribution in the Indian economy continues to persist, consequently shutting a devastating majority of the population out from access to foreign lands. Education in the UK and the US for just one year is almost as expensive as an Indian’s kidney, if one were to pardon the conceit.  Within India itself, private universities cost as much over the course of four years. We may safely say that the structure under the NEP, benefits only a microscopic percentage of Indian students. Simultaneously, it insinuates certain cultural and ideological conflicts. 

Of course, change is daunting, abrasive at times. I desire to direct our attention to the realised change therefore; that is where the NEP stands, four years after its conception and more than  a year after it having been implemented. Lying beyond the theoretical assent and dissent, how has the change shaped itself in practice? 

The syllabi structured under the NEP have introduced subjects such as GE (Generic Elective), SEC (Skill Enhancement Course), VAC (Value Added Course), AEC (Ability Enhancement Course) with the respective departments offering choices from a pool of courses. Some of these courses such as “The Art of Being Happy” may be taught by professors of any and all departments! The obverse side of the coin parades this as ‘holistic development’ that should buttress an individual’s employability. The reverse, practical side of this coin reveals a diluted core syllabus and therein the concomitant and ironic risk of a half-baked education. Can subjects such as ‘Sports for Life’ or ‘Personality Development’ substantially better the depth of a student’s learning, especially at the University level, where courses are supposed to be rather rigorous and demanding? 

Professor Debraj Mookerjee, Associate Professor of English at Ramjas College, reflecting on the Economics Honours syllabus for St. Xavier’s University, Kolkata, says,

Of the eight courses being taught, only one is in the Honours subject paper…are the students learning enough about the core subjects to make them optimally employable? Can the other subjects not be self-learnt in the age of the internet?

A 3rd Year English Honours Student at the University of Delhi, Pema Choekyi Thongdok, in conversation with DU Beat, echoes the same concern

Also, while one may argue that papers like yoga, sports, etc. do help in extra-curricular development, I still believe that this should be the choice of the student. A student should not be forced to study a whole new paper, simply in the name of “holistic development”, if it wouldn’t even be of any help to them in the future.

A critically upsetting point that Pema raises is that these subjects, with the exception of the GE courses, may not be repeated after one semester of having studied it. How does one fathom the idea of learning a subject well enough within the span of four months, with six other such courses to cater to, including 3 core papers, to find any practical or academic use for it later in life? If the practical use is eliminated entirely, an academic use is tenuously possible. Even in that scenario, additional rigorous research must be done to develop a scholarly understanding of the topic in the first place. This research shall only be the qualifying pre-requisite and no more. 

Highlighting another pitfall of this system, Shivam Bhanushali, Assistant Professor of English, B.N.N College ventures,

The policy’s emphasis on student choice in subject selection is commendable. However, large class sizes and an uneven teacher-student ratio make it difficult to offer diverse options. This can lead to schools prioritising feasibility over student preferences, potentially hindering the policy’s objective.

The cause behind such a butchered syllabus coupled with an equally ignominious execution may be ascribed to the inadequate workforce in terms of, on one hand, administrative sections that must be reconditioned to accommodate the changes in the dealings with students and a largely under-equipped faculty.

Many of the universities are facing problems because they do not have the manpower required for proper implementation. This programme has many sub-sections like value-added and skill-based courses. If institutes want to offer these courses, they need to have proper departments in the university.

 says Professor Imankalyan Lahiri, Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University. 

Taking this argument further, Priyanka Mukherjee, third year journalism student at Delhi College of Arts and Commerce laments

NEP, while it boasts of introducing “practical aspects” into the syllabus, doesn’t take into account that several DU colleges lack the basic infrastructure to even accommodate a media lab in their premises.

 In the recent fee hike at JNU and DU postgraduate and doctorate programmes, one of the contentions seemed to be a constantly failing infrastructure that did not reflect or justify the increased fees. If colleges were not being able to handle infrastructural demands even before the NEP was implemented, it is only natural for a massive bottleneck to have been birthed in the wake of NEP’s structural reform demands. For instance, one of the AEC papers offered under the NEP syllabus is “Environmental Science – Theory Into Practice”. As an unfortunate victim of the NEP myself, I may assuredly proclaim that there was nothing generally practical about the course structure exempting the practical waste of my precious time as an honours student. The “practicals” prescribed in the syllabus decreed the making of a practical file, with an arbitrary number of experiments left to the discretion of the teacher responsible for teaching it and a viva-voce at the end of the semester. I trust you have understood that there were no opportunities created for us that warranted leaving the four-walls of the classroom or our living accommodations. Unless I am practically delirious, it bothers me that there are no realised practical, or hands-on aspects to courses that purport to be largely practical. 

Under the NEP, one may skip completely their Master’s and appear for the UGC-NET provided they can meet the criteria of a “minimum of 75% marks or equivalent grades in their four-year undergraduate course”. Additionally, the UGC has already scrapped the M.Phil degree entirely. Commenting on this, Professor Saswata Bhattacharya, Associate Professor of English at Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi, in conversation with Times of India, says,

The 4th year requires a student to acquaint themselves with research methodology and research work. The papers that they have, were previously a part of M.Phil courses, let alone M.A. Speaking of their M.A. courses, which they may now skip, they have a one year programme with not more than 8-10 papers. We had a minimum of 12-16. The length of their M.A courses have been effectively halved. I can vouch for the paramount importance of a two-year course for their M.A. Students who have been introduced to a specialised discipline only recently, and have been studying it for not more than 3-4 years, will find themselves severely ill-suited for serious research. In fact, a 2 year M.Phil course after their master’s helps bridge the large gap in the nature and workload between a Master’s and PhD course.

The hoped expedite is not so much an expedition as it is a hindrance; the process leaves students insufficiently armed and unable to ease into the succeeding steps of their lives. Professor Biswajit Mohanty exposes a dangerous area of quicksand in the exit policy of the NEP undergraduate programmes.

The exit policy is clearly disadvantageous for the underclass category students because it is easy to exit and difficult to gain re-entry into the system, considering the fact that the poor students would find it burdensome to expend energy and financial resources for four years to get the desired degree. Earlier three years seemed achievable but it seems a distant goal for them. This has manifested in the form of one of my students from Rajasthan now contemplating a move to SOL as he cannot afford to study in Delhi because of his family’s financial situation. This will also be disadvantageous for girls, as they would be the first to be taken out of school.

Certainly, given the India now, in an attempt to dig new pathways, the NEP has run the drills under whole residential areas without relocating the inhabitants. It has done so under the influence of a flimsy vision and a threadbare execution. The damage control has been pitiful because it lacks the work-force and the resources to acquire said workforce. In simple words, India is not ready to so radicalise its educational wireframe. It is not simply the universities that have failed, but the government responsible for funding them. “It is, however, not a big surprise that the present government has implemented yet another ambitious policy without taking into account the ground-reality of our academic institutions.” concludes Priyanka. While the students suffer from not having been eased into degrees in a rush to acquire them, the academic institutions suffer from not having been eased into the NEP. One cannot deny the NEP’s transformative capacity. However, a ceramic bowl cannot contain oversized bricks. There is hope for the NEP, but the damage done to the first batches in its inchoate stages seems irremediable. 

Read Also : The Good, Bad, and the NEP: A Far Dream?

Featured Image Credits : The Times Of India Website

 

Aayudh Pramanik

[email protected] 

The Faculty of Law, DU had proposed to introduce two books on the ancient Hindu text as suggested reading under Unit V – Analytical Positivism of the subject Jurisprudence for first and third year students in the undergraduate course paper in LLB, inviting criticism from the Social Democratic Teachers Front (SDTF) and students. The proposal has been rejected by the V-C after he issued a clarification on Thursday i.e. 11 July, 2024.

The Faculty of Law, DU had proposed to introduce two books on the ancient Hindu text as suggested reading under Unit V – Analytical Positivism of the subject Jurisprudence for first and third year students in the undergraduate course paper in LLB. The said proposal was rejected earlier today, prior to the academic council’s meeting by the Vice – chancellor Yogesh Singh after a controversy erupted over the matter.

Today a proposal by the Faculty of Law was submitted to Delhi University. In the proposal, they had suggested changes in the paper titled Jurisprudence. One of the changes was to include readings on Manusmriti. We have rejected both the suggested readings and the amendments proposed by the Faculty. Nothing of this sort will be taught to students,

 stated the V-C in a video message shared by the university.

Medhatithi’s concept of State and Law, the oldest and most popular commentaries on the Manusmriti, had been proposed as a suggested reading under Unit V – Analytical Positivism of the subject Jurisprudence, being taught in the first semester of the three and five-year undergraduate law courses, specifically Manusmriti with theManubhasya’ of Medhatithi, by GN Jha, and Commentary of Manu Smriti – Smritichandrika, by T Krishnaswami Iyer as the suggested readings.

The proposed integration was subjected to major criticism as the Manusmriti infamously endorses the caste system, gender inequality, outdated social norms and social ostracisation. The move is being criticised on the grounds that it would promote and perpetuate discrimination against marginalised communities, especially when it is integrated in the legal education system at a central university.

In an interview with The Indian Express Professor Anju Vali Tikoo, Dean, aculty of Law, had stated,

The Manusmriti has been introduced in line with the NEP 2020 to introduce Indian perspectives into learning. The unit under which it has been introduced in itself is an analytical unit. It has got nothing to do with Hindus, Hindutva or Hinduism. Hence, in order to bring in more perspective for the student to compare and understand analytical positivism, this step has been taken.

While teachers and students believed that a comparative understanding of the same is not the problem, its integration as a standalone paper is irrelevant and outdated.

Many students and teacher’s bodies had expressed their distaste towards the move. Objecting to the development, the Social Democratic Teachers Front (SDTF), a collective of teachers, wrote to DU Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh on Wednesday, stating that the text Manusmriti propagates a “regressive” outlook towards the rights of women and the marginalised communities and that it is against a “progressive education system”. They demanded that the proposal should be immediately withdrawn and not approved in the academic council’s meeting.

In the letter to the VC, SDTF general secretary S S Barwal and chairperson S K Sagar had stated

Introduction of any section or part of Manusmriti is against the basic structure of our Constitution and principles of Indian Constitution.

 

Samvardhan Tiwary, a first year student at ILC, Faculty of Law, spoke to DU Beat regarding the development.

DU’s decision to introduce Manusmriti as a part of its law undergrad syllabus, has its own pros and cons. The text can act as a source of origination of law in India, but should not be included as a standalone curriculum in the UG framework. It’s important for the administration to take cognizance of the fact that now the Indian Legal has reached a certain pedestal where the relevance of Manu won’t benefit the students, rather it defeats the purpose of modern jurisprudence. It’s not news that the text has had prejudiced connotations against women in ancient India; it doesn’t serve the purpose of teaching equity and justice in the modern day.

The Delhi University Academic Council was set to hold a meeting today, i.e. Friday, 12 July, 2024 on the proposal to introduce the ancient Indian text as part of its undergraduate law courses, however, a University official said that although the amendments were to be discussed on Friday, the Act of the University “empowers the V-C to take any decision regarding the larger interest of the University, students, and staff”. The matter was discussed with the Dean, Faculty of Law and decided on accordingly.

Feature Image Credits: Himanshu for DU Beat 

Read Also: https://dubeat.com/2024/07/05/dus-faculty-of-law-postpones-end-term-llb-exams-hours-before-the-scheduled-date/ 

Gauri Garg

[email protected]

The interim FY25 budget shows decreased spending on higher education while school education allocation increases, reflecting governmental priorities amidst India’s class divisions. Highlighted by “12th Fail,” it underscores systemic challenges like corruption and caste barriers hindering equal access to quality education and exacerbating socioeconomic disparities.

“If the citizens were educated, it could be a real problem for the leaders.”

-(12th Fail)

In the interim budget proposed for FY25, the government has decreased spending on higher education. From 1.27% of its budget to FY24, the allocated amount is 1% for FY25. Contrary to this, the allocation for the School Education Department increased from 68,804.85 crore to 72,473.80 crore. What does this tell us about the priorities of the government emerging on the grounds of the existing class division prevalent in India?

12th Fail, built upon the sentimental-driven idea of success in India, showcases the perpetual state of the caste system, the prevalent corruption, and attaining success by meritocratic means amidst disparities. Manoj Kumar Sharma, the protagonist of the story hailing from the infamous region of Chambal, is the middle child from a poverty-stricken household whose only earning member lost his job because of the existing corruption. Portraying the reality of the lowest-income class, the family struggles to arrange two square meals to feed the children and elderly.

The layers of stifling segregation in our society make it impossible for people of the lowest strata, in comparison with the elite and the middle class, to acquire the highly competitive job positions in the country. This population pyramid outlines the division of resources, where the top 10% holds 77 percent of the total national wealth. According to the available data, it would take 941 years for a minimum-wage worker in rural India to earn what the top-paid executive at a leading Indian company makes in a year. It is necessary to provide equal access to education for all to tackle the existing inequality. Even after the Right to Education Act of 2009, the increasing enrollments in the school are inversely related to the decrease in the quality of education. In government schools, absenteeism of teachers, unfair means of conducting exams, lack of basic study materials like proper pen and paper, and the motivation among students and authorities to improve are some of the challenges. According to a report by UNESCO’s International Institute of Education Planning, high rates of absenteeism (at 25%) show evident corruption and its negative influence on the vulnerable years of a student. The aspirations of the lower-income students are wiped out under these circumstances, forming a mass majority of the students in these public schools who cannot recite correct answers to basic questions. Painted through the movie ‘12th Fail’, Manoj exhibits to the interviewers the meek reality of his background when he says, “Our teachers helped us to cheat.”.

When compared with other South Asian developing countries, India is performing exceptionally well in terms of collective economic growth, whereas the human welfare indicators are struggling to meet the average measure. Turning into a melting pot and dealing with problems on multiple fronts, the government juggles to prioritise the spending of the limited available resources. In this year’s budget, we saw a sharp decline in funding for the Ministry of Education, which conflicts with the New Education Policy 2020, which seeks to spend 6 percent of the GDP on education. The allocation to education for FY 24–25 is 7 percent lower than the revised estimates for the current fiscal year. The University Grants Commission has received a cut as the centre reduced its grant by 60 percent. The funding to the IITs and IIMs faced a reduction of Rs 60 crore and Rs 119 crore. These narrowed avenues at the top-tier colleges increase the cutthroat competition to secure a seat. The budget for school education has received an increased amount of Rs 73,008 crore from Revised Estimates (RE), which is almost Rs 3,250 crore more than last year’s allocation and is the highest of all time. The government aims to use them to deliver quality teaching in a developed holistic environment for nurturing a future generation for the country’s future.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s ‘12th Fail’, a biopic, very accurately showcases the ground reality of our education system. Manoj gives up on cheating, but the environment he belonged to remains the same, where the Mafia is protected by political patronage, not only putting the lives of the young students at stake for the sake of personal monetary gains and regional control but also breaking the spirit of the man residing in these regions, the rural areas that comprise 70 percent of the Indian population.

India ranks 93 in the corruption index: ‘Ye jo fine ke naam par tu maang raha hai na…yeh ghoos hai’. This ailment is so severe and ingrained in our society in the form of privately owned, corrupt education institutions making extraordinary money with their skyrocketing fee structures to help students crack highly competitive examinations like JEE, NEET, and our very own UPSC. Contributing to the misery as demonstrated in the movie “2 lakh Hindi medium vidhyarthiyo mein kewal 25-30 hi ban pate hain IAS IPS,”  highlights the prevailing discrimination on the grounds of linguistic chauvinism, where the sophisticated Anglican tongue spoken by the elite draws a line that the people belonging to lower ethnic groups find difficult to cross to get to the respectable jobs.

This embedded segregation and socioeconomic inequalities are only widening due to the failure and lack of incentive to take up the righteous implementation of the policies. The drastic difference in access to education is a mole on the flags bearing the’socialist’, ‘justice’, and ‘equal’ society whose ecosystem aims to provide uniform opportunities to all. At this crucial phase, when the government wants us to aim high, it is also creating these loopholes that are only going to leave the nation-building roots hollow. Our Manoj made it to the top ‘without oxygen’ support, celebrating the UPSC struggle of an aspirate. The dehumanising reality of our times and the plight remain shrouded under ‘Ye hum sab ki ladai hai, ek ka jeet hoga toh karodon bhed-bakriyon ka jeet hoga.’, developing an ‘Indian Dream’ of millions of people aspiring to climb the social ladder.

Read Also: Just Looking Like a “How?”: Questioning SC’s Stand on Regulating Coaching Institutes

Image Credits: The Week

Divya Malhotra

[email protected]

According to the official schedule, registration for Spot Round began on 29 August at 5 pm via the Common Seat Allocation System (CSAS) Portal under the ongoing admission process for Delhi University.

Delhi University administration started the registration for Spot Round of undergraduate admissions. Students can register on the admissions website, admission.uod.ac.in.

In the spot admissions round 1, declaration of allocations was done on 1st September (5 pm), and candidates will have time till September 3, 4.59 pm to accept the allocated seats.

Following that colleges will have time from September 2 (10 am) till 4.59 pm September 4, to verify and approve online applications. Last date for online payment of admission fees is scheduled for September 5, 4.59 pm.

The steps for application process include first visiting the official website, admission.uod.ac.in. Then by clicking on the UG admission 2023 link, the page will be redirected. The next step is to fill in all the requirements, incorporating all personal details and educational qualifications. Next review the application and pay the application fee. Finally, submit the application and download the application for future use.

“In its first round, a total of 202416 eligible candidates were considered for allocation based on their preferences of programme and college combinations. A total of 85853 allocations have been done in the First CSAS round itself. This includes an allocation to all programmes in all colleges in UR, SC, ST, OBC(NCL), EWS and two supernumerary quotas, PwBD and Kashmiri Migrants. As many as 7042 candidates got their first preference. About 22000 candidates have been allocated a seat from their first five preferences.” -ANI Report

During the first round seat allotment round, over 3,04,699 students registered the CSAS 2023 portal, among those, 2,45,235 students submitted their CSAS DU 2023 application form and 59,464 didn’t submit their application forms.

Image Source: Business Today

Read Also: DU Witnesses 87% Seats being Secured in the First Round of UG Admissions

Aanya Mehta

[email protected]

 

 

The revised history syllabus for the fourth and fifth semester undergraduate students, which was approved by the DU Academic Council on May 26, has been ratified by the Executive Council on June 9, 2023. The removal of a paper on inequality, the elimination of the term “Brahmanization,” and the addition of matriarchal perspectives are some of the changes that have been introduced.

On June 9, 2023, the University of Delhi’s Executive Council, the apex academic decision-making body at the university, ratified the amended curriculum that had been approved by the Academic Council on May 26. The Academic Council revised the history syllabus for the fourth and fifth semesters under the new Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP). A few of the changes include the deletion of the words Brahminization and ‘Brahmanical’, the removal of the paper on “Inequality and Differences”, and the introduction of matriarchal perspectives.

The revision aims to align the syllabus with the suggestions of the New Education Policy, NEP 2020.

-Shri Prakash Singh, Director, South Campus, in a report by The Indian Express

The phrase Brahminization has been removed from the fourth and fifth semester Generic Elective paper ‘Religion and Religiosity’, which has been renamed ‘Religious Traditions in the Indian Subcontinents’. One of the topics in the paper titled ‘Approaches to Brahmanization in the Early Mediaeval Era’ has been renamed ‘Approaches to Shaiva, Shakta, and Vaishnava in the Early Mediaeval Era’. In addition, the revised syllabus removed the term ‘Brahmanical’ from the fifth-semester paper on the Brahmanical Patriarchy. Furthermore, the title of the article has been changed from ‘Evolution of Patriarchy’ to ‘Evolution of Patriarchy in Early India’.

Apart from this, the paper titled ‘Inequality and Differences’ in semester four, which talks about the concepts of jati, varna, caste, class, and gender and their evolution, has been withdrawn.

Constructive suggestions are also given — there is now more diversity and more information. It was a unanimous decision and the changes were reported to the academic council way in advance. There is no dissent. Suggestions were given by the standing committee as well.”

-Dean of South Campus, DU, in a report by Jagran Josh

Furthermore, the paper Women in Indian History will provide fresh perspectives on matriarchy. The units that were previously centred around patriarchy will now also include discussions around matriarchy. The primary goal of this modification, reportedly, is to make students aware of and have a diverse viewpoint.

Image Credits: Devansh Arya for DU Beat

Read Also: Gandhi replaced with Savarkar in BA Syllabus; Row Erupts in DU

Dhruv Bhati
[email protected]

In a meeting held by the executive council, the university is all set to introduce B. Tech courses for the
academic year 2023-24 from August. Three courses will be offered with an intake capacity of 120
students for each programme.

Starting in August, Delhi University (DU) will offer engineering courses for students to pursue for the
academic year 2023-24. The courses will range from B.Tech degrees in Computer Science and Engineering; Electronics and Communication Engineering; and Electrical Engineering. The total intake capacity of the students will be 360, consisting of 120 for each program. Admissions under the B.Tech course will be conducted on the basis of JEE scores Mains score. The course structure, credit distribution and syllabi for the first two semesters have been finalized by the executive council.

On Friday, 9 June 2023, in a meeting presented before the executive council, the new course structure received approval. Earlier in April, the Ministry of Education also approved the introduction of 72 teaching and 48 non-teaching posts for the new programmes in April.

In 2021, a committee had been deliberately set up by the University to introduce new courses.

“The committee held several meetings in the last one-and-half years and systematically deliberated upon various issues within its terms of reference to facilitate the initiation of the three BTech programmes under the Faculty of Technology in the emerging subject areas of computer science and engineering, electronics and communication engineering and electrical engineering,” an official stated in reference to the report submitted by the panel.

The committee suggested adequate infrastructural facilities for the classrooms and laboratories be
arranged until the Faculty of Technology building is fully functional.

“The committee authorized the vice-chancellor to decide upon the space and other essential physical
infrastructure for initiation of these B. Tech programmes,” the report stated.

The course structure is designed in such a manner that a minimum 50% weightage will be applicable to the major area of study with a maximum of 65% weighable. The rest will be applicable towards the minor area of study. In accordance with the National Education Policy (NEP), students will be provided with multiple exit options. A student who has successfully completed one year of study and earned the requisite credits will receive a certificate. Two years of successful completion of the required credits will earn the student a diploma and three years of successful completion along with the required credits will earn an advanced diploma. Students who have successfully completed the required credits for four years will be awarded a Bachelor’s in Technology degree.

In line with the introduction of new programmes, the executive council approved the introduction of the four-year Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP) for the academic session 2023-24. The ITEP will replace the current Bachelor of Elementary Education (B.El.Ed) programme.

Read Also: https://dubeat.com/2023/06/06/du-to-introduce-three-b-tech-courses-from-this-academic-year/

Featured Image Credits: Devesh for DU Beat

Sri Sidhvi Dindi
[email protected]

Delhi University embarked on a new journey after signing an MoU with Ambedkar University in order to share resources with each other in sync with NEP.

On Thursday, May 18, the University of Delhi and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensure the optimum utilisation of their resources with one another. Both universities have agreed to work together in areas of research, extension activities, student and faculty exchange, consultancy, and outreach. Officials reportedly agreed to maintain a common ground by allocating libraries, sports grounds, research laboratories, seminar halls, auditoriums, etc. for students and staff of both universities.

Due to proximity, the collaboration can explore the possibility of mobility of students between the two universities. It will help students study courses/papers offered in the collaborating university and their credit transfer as well as issuance of a certificates.

– DU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Yogesh Singh

The Vice Chancellor also proposed to conduct joint PhD programmes for the students to get the best opportunities under the co-supervision of both universities. The universities will work on emerging areas like the impact of artificial intelligence on social sciences and promote research in the fields of science and technology.

Committed to academic partnerships and collaborations with other institutions, the goal of Ambedkar University is to become a Multidisciplinary Education Research University in alignment with the objectives of NEP 2020. Vice Chancellor of Ambedkar University, Prof. Anu Singh Lather, said that the University is committed to the ideals of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar by bridging equality and social justice with excellence.

We are working on becoming a Multidisciplinary Education Research University (MERU) and have recently signed MoUs with GGSIP University, NSUT, DTU, NLU-D.

– AUD Vice Chancellor Prof. Lather

Prof. Lather added that AUD’s mission is to create sustainable and effective linkages between access and success in higher education. The MoU will be a step towards fulfilling this purpose.

 

Read also: DU Scraps Existing B.El.Ed. Programme, Teachers Raise Objection 

Featured Image Credits: B.R. Ambedkar University Website

Aanya Mehta
[email protected]  

Delhi University opens online applications for paid internship opportunities at its departments and centres for summer 2023. Last date of applying on the university website is May 17, 2023.

Dean Students’ Welfare Office, Delhi University has launched the second iteration of the Vice Chancellor Internship Scheme – Summer Internship 2023 on its official portal. Undergraduate and Postgraduate students of the university are invited to apply for a multitude of paid opportunities. Applications are open till May 17, 2023, on the university website.

All regular bonafide students of DU, irrespective of their course or stream – excluding First Year and Semester 2 students, are eligible to apply for the Summer Internship 2023 program. This opportunity can be availed by students only once during their course of study at DU, therefore, students who had already availed VCIS-2022 cannot apply for this edition of VCIS: Summer Internship 2023.

The internship demands a flexible time commitment of 15-20 hours per week. The program will run over a period of two months – tentatively June and July 2023. It has also been informed that the attendance requirement in the candidate’s enrolled UG/PG course will not be relaxed during the internship tenure. The university is offering a stipend of Rs.10,000 per month, drawn from the University Student Welfare Fund.  Students completing the internship tenure will be awarded an experience certificate from the Dean of Students’ Welfare, subject to an appraisal report from the concerned employing department, centre, or institution.

All university institutions, departments, and centres, including the VC’s office, Office of Dean of Colleges, Registrar’s Office, the central reference library, departmental libraries, departmental labs, the admissions branch, and the Equal Opportunity Cell, will be covered by the program. The selection process involves filling up an application form, stating three domains of interest, uploading a letter of recommendation (LOR) and no objection certificate (NOC) from their head of department/college, and an interview round.

VCIS was launched in the 2022-23 academic year with the objective to “impart training on soft and hard skills by integrating cognitive knowledge with experiential learning”. The program is said to achieve the objectives of “Samagra Shiksha” (holistic education) as enlisted in NEP 2020. For the 110 openings in its paid internship program last year, the university got more than 3,800 applications from undergraduate and postgraduate students. All further information will be shared on the DSW website.

Read Also: What To Expect From Your First Internship

Featured Image Credits: Anshika for DU Beat

Bhavya Nayak

[email protected]

An ‘All India Convention on Higher Education Under the NEP 2020’ was hosted by AIFRTE to deliberate upon the New Education Policy (2020). The event included a long list of educationists, coming from various parts of the country, who presented their views on the subject. Read ahead to find out more.

 

The All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE) organised an ‘All India Convention on Higher Education Under the NEP 2020’, on 27 May 2022 at the Gandhi Peace Foundation. The event was attended by renowned educationists and professors, who came from various parts of the country to deliver speeches on a subject of shared interest. Various student and teacher organisations including All India Students’ Association (AISA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Collective, and Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF) were also present, among others. 

Among the first speakers, who were scheduled to speak in the First Session, Mrigank delivered his speech on ‘NEP 2020: Background and Purpose’. He is the Senior Vice President, IFTU, National Executive Member, AIFRTE, and Convenor, People for Science (Delhi). Through his speech, he stressed on how the policy is a ‘complete corporatization of education’. He stated that the entire document reflects a budget cut of the government and further claimed that this policy would give birth to a population of ‘zombies’ who would not have a mind of their own. 

Following this, Professor. Surjeet Majumdar, who is a Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and a former secretary of JNUTA, spoke on the subject, ‘Killing several birds with one stone: Higher Education in NEP 2020’. Professor Majumdar asserted that neither there is an increase in the public expenditure on education nor there is an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). With his speech, the first session culminated for a short break of a few minutes.

 

Beginning the next session was Professor Minati Panda, who is a professor at Zakir Husain Centre for Education Studies, JNU. She made her speech on ‘The Question of Language and epistemic justice in Higher Education in NEP 2020’. The Professor found the policy to be a ‘verbose document’. She stressed the subject of multilingualism, claiming that when someone goes around the first few pages of the policy, they ought to find it in contradiction to the realistic experiences. 

Multilingual education is going to end the concept of multilingualism in the future.Professor Minati Panda

 

Continuing this flow, the next speaker was Joga Singh. He is a former Professor of Linguistics at Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab. He took upon the subject ‘Bankrupt Language Proposals in NEP 2020’. He strongly voiced his thoughts on the language section of the policy. He stated that the policy says that students will have to study three languages ‘wherever possible’. Stressing on the latter part, he claimed that the phrase ‘wherever possible’ here simply means ‘nowhere possible’. To support his notion, he asserted that people get jobs only with knowledge of English and a majority of parents prefer sending their children to an ‘English-medium school’. 

Privatisation and Commercialisation stands on english and the entire policy talks about them so english is nowhere to go.-Joga Singh

 

The next speaker was Professor Madhu Prasad. She is a former Professor of Philosophy at Zakir Husain College, University of Delhi (DU), Spokesperson, and Presidium member, AIFRTE. She spoke about ‘NEP 2020 and digitalisation of education’ and she found it to be unfortunate that when the pandemic hit, the government rushed to shut down schools and colleges, even before malls and parks were closed. She believes that the government had already planned this NEP and hence used the period of the pandemic to give it a further push. 

Digitalisation is talked about as a technique but instead it is a process through which one makes knowledge a merchandise.-Professor Madhu Prasad

 

The session was resumed with Dr. Shamsul Islam, a former professor from Delhi University. Following him, Dr. Maya John, who teaches history at Jesus and Mary College, Delhi University, spoke on the ‘Rhetorics and realities of higher education in NEP 2020: a critique of UGCF from the margins’. 

When the constitution was being drafted and Right to Education was removed from the Fundamental Rights and put into the Directive Principles of State Policy, why was it not questioned?-Dr. Maya John

She talked about how this policy was a “part and product of the international milieu”, something that will help in the creation of labour with multiple skills, aiding only “the global elitist needs”. She also brought out the contradictions that exist in the NEP 2020 and focusing on how the guarantee of education from 6 to 14 years of age is not enough, demanded:

Nothing short of education from KG to PG— public funded education from KG to PG.

 

Representing Jamia Millia Islamia, Dr. Shikha Kapur, went on to talk about how education is moving towards centralisation and towards capitalism, and questioned the UGC’s step aiming towards uniformity through NEP.

But when the country is diverse… where will uniformity come from in this diversity?” -Dr. Shikha Kapur

She went on to talk about how the education policy has led to the quantification of education, with social sciences and languages also being marked on the basis of MCQs, and how CUET will block the pathway of education for many groups, including first-generation learners.

 

Dr. Shikha Kapur was followed by Prof. Nandita Narain, Professor at St. Stephen’s college, DU, and former president, DUTA and FEDCUTA, who spoke on the ‘Degradation of quality through restructuring of academic courses (FYUP, UGF, ABC, CUET) and governance (fragmentation, corporatisation, privatisation, and exclusion)’. She talked about the condition of education during the years of lockdown and how this step towards digitalisation will again push us back into the same dark tunnel. 

Speaking against the CUET, she brought attention to how this will only aid institutions in earning more money and also spoke in disfavour of the recent CUET crash course organised by Ramanujan College.

This [NEP 2020] is a privatisation blueprint’” -Prof. Nandita Narain

 

Dr. Abha Dev Habib, who teaches Physics at Miranda House, DU; Secretary, DTF; former treasurer, DUTA; and former member of the executive council, DU, spoke on ‘CUCET, FYUP, and UGF: Illusion of choices’. Comparing NEP to a packet of chips, she says “Jiske pass jitna paisa hai, valise hi chips ka packet kharidega, aur kitne log hain jo wahan tak pahunch bhi nhi payenge”.

She brought attention to the fact that when students opt for the multiple exit option, exiting after three years, they will still be considered drop-outs under the FYUP. She went on to call the students to fight against the NEP 2020.

Agar Modi Sarkar ko kisi ne lalkara hai toh woh students hain ” -Dr. Abha Dev Habib

 

Representing Ambedkar University, Dr. Shivani Nag, spoke on the ‘fallacy of gender inclusion in NEP’ and the contradictions with the NEP 2020.

3 saal ki degree kafi nahi hai, 4th saal chahiye par 1 saal ke baad students chhod sakte hain [talking about the multiple exit options].” -Dr. Shivani Nag

 

Jagmohan Singh, Chairperson, AIFRTE; General Secretary, AFDR, Punjab; and Director, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Creativity Centre, Ludhiana, talked about ‘How NEP is contrary to the legacy of the freedom struggle: Need for students’ and youth’s movements.

If centralisation is happening from top, then only an effort by people from below can contradict it.” -Jagmohan Singh

 

In a press statement released by AIFRTE on 28th May 2022, the event was concluded with a call for active mobilisation against NEP. 

While these grave and burning issues surround the current policy, the progressive and pro-democratic forces of the country resolve to fight for equal, free, and quality education for all. We demand immediate annulment of the National Education Policy 2020. The BJP-RSS’s agenda for communalisation, de-academisation and privatization of education must be fought by mobilizing students, teachers, parents, and communities. AIFRTE unequivocally demands revocation of this irrational course structure. Else, students, teachers and parents will go on resisting this programme without any compromise.-press statement, AIFRTE.

 

Read also “Insult, Injury & Illness: DU’s Offline Exams

Feature Image: DU Beat Archives

 

Ankita Baidya

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Manasvi Kadian

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NEP 2020 is envisioned towards creating an inclusive education to all by bridging the abiding spaces in the society. Yet, it seems to just be a façade of progression. The policy is ought to introduce the much needed practicality into the mainstream education but what is the correct way to go about it? Is it going to be an actual consideration of voices of all the stakeholders or will it be a theoretical approach to a ‘practical solution’?


The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 has a vision towards transforming the Indian education system into a global knowledge superpower. It lays down the veracious purpose of the education system, to develop virtuous human beings having rational and critical ability, empathy and solicitude, creativity and the power to go beyond but what is the cost to implement this? Will this be uniform for each child living under the same sky or a question of ‘subjectivity’ would arise?

NEP address to the practical knowledge and skills like carpentry etc but see now the things is that our government schools do not even have quality teachers how can you equip them all in such a small time frame, so first government should be focusing on ground development rather than looking on to the entire nations prosperity.

-Malvika Choudhary, Delhi School of Journalism

The irony of this policy is such that it is a step towards changing the theoretical approach into practicality but the policy itself sounds too theoretical than pragmatic. While observing the NEP 2021, inclusivity is a major factor of the entire policy. Yet, there are provisions that might look like encompassing all the sections of the society. However, in the actuality of this realm, it is only pushing the way towards widening the gaps of disparity. It is as if a kid falls down, gets hurt on the knee and starts wailing; rather than using a bandage to heal the wound, they are being given licorice in pursuit of ceasing the tears. The question is not about if these provisions are good or bad but about the “tomorrow” that the nation is trying to build.

The problem in NEP is that it scarcely mentions of affirmative action in the form of reservation for the socially oppressed anywhere in the document moreover it also talks about financial autonomy for the government which will lead to rise in fees and so more exclusion of the students.

-Aman, Ramjas College, member of Students’ Federation of India (SFI)

The NEP emphasizes on the sitch of inclusivity and universal education. However, granting the status of autonomy is only going to widen the gaps. Autonomous colleges and universities can introduce independent rules and regulations and curtail the transparent admission processes which guarantee the seats to the marginalised sections. Further, they can enjoy the liberty of introducing expensive self-financed courses. This step does not speak inclusion, instead, is screaming omission.

The National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 is a policy aimed at commercialization, privatization, centralisation and saffronisation of the education system in the country. In the garb of granting ‘autonomy’ to educational institutions, the NEP gives unbridled power to the institutions to implement fee hikes as per their will. It turns education from a responsibility of the state and a social service, into a profit making enterprise. This will further lead to education being inaccessible and a debt trap for the coming generations and the present.

-Prabudh Singh, graduate from Zakir Hussain Evening College, member of SFI

Adding to this, the policy emphasizes on the need to set up a ‘Gender-Inclusion fund’. On the surface it seems to be bringing an end to the unjust practices against the girls and transgender but as a matter of fact what is in it for them? Will it bring solace to the wronged genders or will it welcome even more adversities than it is already present?

This fund will be set- up to provide equitable quality education to the transgender students and girls, especially belonging to the socio-economically disadvantaged groups. However, this step would require the transgender students to come out and identify themselves in the public eye. We are living in a progressive country but not progressive enough to even provide security to this section through penal laws. From a classroom to the roadside tea stall, slurs are normalized against trans people then how are we supposed to believe that a fund is going to solve these deep-rooted problems? Are we supposed to turn a blind eye towards the underlying issues and focus on the surface?

A trans student dressed up as a boy for every single day until he finished his final school examination and secured a seat in a foreign land. It was then that he recognized himself as she/her. It took her nearly twelve to fourteen years to come out in the public eye since she has the sense of security of leaving the country so how are we supposed to accept the fact that by introducing a fund, by providing bicycles, provisions of sanitation and quality education, the long-lived stigma will come to an end? Is this enough to turn the thorns into roses when the country finds it normal to laugh them out?

Certain aspects of the NEP might have long term detrimental effects, after lapsing the short-lived happiness. It is a good decision but not a thoughtful one. The gender inclusivity fund is a good start per say, but at some point these students will be exposed to the vulnerability that our society hides. A system has to be incorporated that would not throw these students under the bus and would provide them from basic needs to quality education.

-Sanya Gupta, a student of Kamala Nehru College

Furthermore, the policy talks about introducing similar inclusion funds for other marginalised sections. These funds are in the talks for their holistic wellbeing in addition to equitable and quality education. These steps look good on paper but are they a promise to a long-term happiness or just a fantasy of seventh heaven? Not to mention, how are we supposed to address the issue of ‘roti, kapda aur makaan’ on the pile of discriminatory laughter and societal stigma. On top of all these, the perplexing situation arises about the source of the funds, given that we live in a country with quite a number of marginalised groups. Even if they are introduced, how is the question of transparency in terms of usage of the funds is going to be answered? These funds seem to be a wolf in a sheep’s skin. From exposing to a greater vulnerability to a possibility of widening the societal gap, this policy needs to be rethought from the perspective of the wronged ones.

The NEP-2020 is set to be implemented completely by 2030. Given that India has the second largest population in the entire world, not only is it a strenuous task but also mapping the various tangibles for over 250 million students, next ten years seem to be quite a less number.

NEP 2020 is very promising in theory, but its implementation is way difficult, especially in a country like India which ranks second in population. Surely, there’s a long way ahead for the Indian education system to grow and develop under the NEP, 2020. There is a need to shift from mugging up facts and figures to encourage creativity and practical experiences.

-A Professor of University of Delhi in conversation with DU Beat

Besides a problematic implementation, it needs to account for all the tangibles that come along with it. The most quintessential stakeholders of this policy, the students, believe that the demerits of the policy might overpower the actual vision which in turn could lead to a massive failure if not addressed. Nevertheless, this policy might be the much needed change to one the largest education systems of the world but which lines are we ready to blur in order to achieve the top rank?

Featured Image Credits: itstimetomeditate.org 

Ankita Baidya

[email protected]