New Syllabus


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.


Read also: Gandhi Replaced With Savarkar In BA Syllabus Row Erupts In DU 

Image credits: Mint, Google images

Priya Agrawal

[email protected]

On 5th October UGC released a letter that suggested the universities to adopt new model Psychology syllabi at B.A/B.Sc, M.A/M.Sc and PhD levels.

The letter sent and addressed to vice-chancellors of all universities said, “It had been noticed that Psychology, as taught in institutions of higher learning was neither keeping pace with the recent developments in the discipline nor fulfilling the societal needs. The prevalent course contents commonly taught in the classroom were not rooted in the national ethos. UGC, therefore, constituted a Committee of Experts to look into different aspects of teaching and research in Psychology besides drawing upon the considerable work that is underway for the purposes of developing vibrant model syllabi for different levels.”

Letter issued by UGC
Letter issued by UGC

Further, it added that the new curriculum made by the Expert Committee took the latest developments in the field of Psychology into consideration and new syllabus has given special relevance to the Indian context of discipline.

The brief letter did not mention who the members of the Expert Committee are which raises many questions. Such as who are the committee members, what were the selection criteria, and on what basis did they conclude that the prevailing course content is unsatisfactory.

While talking to DU Beat, Dr Gayatri Arunkuma, a Psychology professor at Indraprastha College for Women, denied the claims of UGC and asserted that “The current CBCS syllabus has a lot of Indian perspective on psychology in both theory and practical papers. We also refer to several research publications and textbooks focussing on the Indian perspective in Psychology Honors course in DU. So, our curriculum is, in fact, rooted in national ethos as we are teaching a new updated in 2014 syllabus.”

She further added, “UGC being an important institution could perhaps initiate a more democratic exercise on Psychology syllabus revision, where all psychology faculties can email their views n issues.”

The commission has asked affiliated colleges and universities go through the new syllabus, which is available on the official website, and introduce it in the current course. However, as of now, there is no new syllabus published on the UGC website. We tried to contact Mr.P.K. Thakur, Secretary and Financial Assistant of UGC who also wrote the letter on the commission’s behalf, but all our calls to his office remained unattended.

Picture Credits: The University Grants Commission
Niharika Dabral
[email protected]