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in semester four, which talks about the concepts of jati, varna, caste, class, and gender and their evolution, has been withdrawn.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]

The English Department of the University of Delhi (DU) continues to be negatively affected by the Syllabus Controversy. 

The Executive Council of DU has approved the syllabus for English for the first semester, but this approved syllabus continues to be a mystery for not only the students, but also the professors. In fact, even the Head of the English Department, Professor Raj Kumar has not been made privy to the new syllabus. This continued delay with regard to the syllabus has now moved beyond ideological and ethical debates, and has started to negatively impact the students, causing mass worry and frustration across the University campuses. 

In most colleges, professors have started to teach the first-year students the old syllabus, but they are not sure about whether what they are teaching the first-year students is going to be relevant to them with respect to the upcoming examinations. Priyanshi Banerjee, a first-year student of English at Lady Shri Ram College, said, “No one seems to know anything about the new syllabus and this is causing a lot of problems for us first-years. Examinations are not going to get postponed, but considering the current slow pace of studies I don’t know how we are going to manage to complete our course work.”

Students are not even able to procure the books being taught currently because the bookstores in the college campuses are not stocking them, because of a lack of clarity with respect to the prescribed texts. Shyla Sharma, another first-year student of the English Department, said, “All of us are very anxious. It is very odd for us to see other department’s students going about their course work when we don’t even know what our syllabus is. Even the professors seem upset and lost, and this is causing a lot of confusion. We don’t even have all of our books yet, as we have been told not to buy them. I hope the syllabus is soon released.”

In spite of the mass tension, an academic debate in the midst of the syllabus controversy continues to flourish. Royina Chhabra, a first-year student of the English Department, said, “Restrictions are being put on our academic freedom. We should have a right to study what we want to, especially our history and culture irrespective of whether it is good or bad. How else are we supposed to learn and think for ourselves? This entire controversy is taking a huge toll on our education.” Many students also seem to be specifically upset about the negative debate with respect to the exclusion of the Queer Literature Paper. A first-year student of the English Department, who wanted to remain anonymous, said, “Queerness is a part of our lives. Section 377 no longer criminalises homosexuality, so why is our education system doing so? In fact, I believe that it is the responsibility of our education system to educate people about queerness because most people in India aren’t aware of, or comfortable about it. The fact that our new syllabus is probably going to be politically motivated and authoritarian in nature highly antagonises me.”

The Syllabus Controversy began when right-wing organisations like the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) objected to the English Department for including certain study material relating to caste and gender in the new syllabus. Specifically speaking, they had an issue with the story Manibein alias Bibijaan in which the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bajrang Dal are portrayed negatively, with respect to the 2002 Gujarat riots, and the inclusion of the depiction of Hindu deities in queer literature by taking references from texts like Bhagvath Puran, Sankar Puran, and Shiv Puran. Counter-protests for academic freedom by organisations like the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), All India Students’ Association (AISA), Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), and Pinjra Tod soon followed, leading to ideological and educational confrontations. This controversy has led to the syllabuses of many subjects not being released, even though the new academic year has already started. 

Feature Image Credits: Sriya Rane for DU Beat

Juhi Bhargava

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The first-semester syllabi of four subjects have been accepted by the panel of the University of Delhi (DU).

The University of Delhi has approved the syllabus of English, History, Political Science, and Sociology for first-semester. The syllabi of other subjects have been sent back for revision, and for a final overlook, to their respective Departments, who have been provided with the time of a month to do the same..

The long-drawn-out controversy over University of Delhi’s syllabus of certain subjects has come to a step closer to its conclusion with this action. However, many academic and ethical debates over this dispute are still taking place. 

This controversy began with right-wing organisations objecting to the inclusion of certain course materials, like the role of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the 2002 Gujarat riots, and the depiction of Hindu deities in Queer literature in the English syllabus. The situation soon escalated with the ABVP protesting against the course material of certain subjects, which according to them were anti-national and non-Indian in aesthetics. Dr. Rasal Singh of the Academic Council said, “The syllabi have to be cleansed and Indianised, it should be free from Colonial and Communist clutches.”

Counter-protests for academic freedom by organizations like the Delhi University Teacher’s Association (DUTA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), All India Students’ Association (AISA), Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), Pinjra Tod soon followed, leading to a University-wide altercation. 

Feature Image Credits: Collegedunia 

Juhi Bhargava 

[email protected] 

The English Department of the University of Delhi (DU) unanimously passed the undergraduate syllabus without any further changes, despite initially having objections to the proposed amendments.

In a set of new developments in the DU syllabus-revision row, the Committee of Courses of the Department of English of DU, has concordantly approved the syllabus to the undergraduate course after the Executive Committee (EC) had sent back the proposed syllabus with 26 points which they wanted to be changed.

However, the department had earlier dismissed these changes as ‘absurd and irrational’, but has now passed them all, with the external faculty of advisors even commending the new content. External experts, Dr Anup Singh Beniwal, former Vice Chancellor (VC) and Dean of Humanities of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIP) and Dr Mukesh Ranjan, from Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI), scrutinized the syllabus and praised its academic merits.

The EC had sent back the curriculum for further review under the supervision of an oversight committee and resubmission by the end of the month. The Faculty of Arts, DU will also be vetting the syllabus before it is implemented across the varsity.

Earlier this month, only a few days before the start of the new session at DU, the Varsity had asked for expert comments and suggestions towards the revision of syllabi of many undergraduate courses. Out of which, those of English, Sociology, History and Political Science have undergone as many as thirty changes. But the University has still not decided whether to scrap the proposed revamped syllabi or to implement it.

In an interview with The New Indian Express, a source from the English Department said, “In the Indian Writing section, we are being asked to replace Amitav Ghosh’s The Shadowlines with RK Narayan’s Swami and Friends, Meena Kandaswamy’s Touch with Premchand’s The Shroud. We had to point out that Amitav Ghosh has just won the Gyanpeeth Puraskar and bears more contemporary relevance. Also, that Premchand is not an Indian English author. His work is already there in the Modern Indian Writing in Translation paper.”

The faculty had already dropped the most disputed short story titled ‘Maniben alias Bibijaan’ written by Shilpa Paralkar which entailed a Hindu woman’s connection with a Muslim man in the backdrop of the Godhra riots of 2002 and hinted that a character – a member of the Bajrang Dal – was associated with looting and burning an old Muslim man alive with his granddaughter.

“We also had to drop an essay by Mukul Kesavan on a politically empowering government, (and) Neha Dixit’s award-winning reportage on mob-lynching. We had to get rid of all reference to Indian deities and their association with queerness — we are only trying to make the students engage with gender beyond the binary and we have had that in Indic civilisation since ancient times. The Ardha-Nariswar avatar of Shiva is the best example of gender fluidity. But they did not accept the argument and alleged that Shiva is being held up as the symbol for the LGBTQ community,” said Saikat Ghosh, a member of the Standing Committee, Academic Council and an Assistant Professor of English at the Varsity, in conversation with The New Indian Express.

The faculty members of the English Department had also mentioned that they are unclear of what is expected of them in the face of conflict regarding the nature and tone of the syllabus, and are confused as to which syllabus to follow or what to teach the students. They have also made clear that they “will not be entertaining any further absurd modifications”.

The past week, protests by the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyalaya Parishad (ABVP) at North Campus of the University, also objected to the ‘uncalled for and unnecessary changes’ to the syllabus, while other parties like the  All India Students’ Association (AISA) protested against the intrusion of ABVP in the process of the making of the syllabus.

Meanwhile, the students of the Varsity are having to bear the brunt of the delays in decision-making and the revision process.



Feature Image Credits: Spirit Earth Awakening


Bhavya Pandey

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11 departments and one college were asked to prepare a first draft of the revised curriculum by 29th March; each department was to come up with a minimum of four drafts before finalising.

The University of Delhi (DU) has yet again asked the heads of 11 departments and Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW) to start revising the curriculum of their undergraduate courses and introduce the revised syllabus in the 2019-20 academic session.

The varsity’s undergraduate curriculum revision committee (2019) wrote to the heads of 11 departments, which comprised of computer science, history, botany, music, zoology, Sanskrit, microbiology and environmental studies, and the administration of Indraprastha College for Women, with a revision schedule, asking them to “abide by it”.

This pronouncement received criticism from the faculty members who were displeased by the bypassing of the democratic steps that are to be followed in reforming the syllabi. They called it a “serious statutory violation”. The members of the Executive Council (EC) and Academic Council (AC) wrote to Yogesh Tyagi, the Vice-Chancellor of the varsity, against the “manner” of this revision.

Rajesh Jha, an EC member, said to Hindustan Times, “As per DU rules of revising syllabus, the departments would root the draft of revised curriculum through individual committees of all courses offered by any department. It is then sent to each faculty for approval. It is further passed by the standing council before going for a discussion in AC. Then the final draft is passed by the EC. The university has bypassed all these steps.”

The EC and AC members have requested Tyagi to withdraw the communication. “The schedule was prepared without any consultation with the statutory bodies. So, we request you to revise the UG syllabi in a statutory and democratic manner and withdraw all the communications concerned,” states the letter.

The schedule orders the departments to constitute their respective committees and prepare the first draft of the new syllabus by 29th March. A minimum of four drafts have to be sent before deciding on the final one, which is to be submitted to the respective Heads of Departments (HoD).

The Undergraduate Curriculum Revision Committee also asked the HoDs to make public the draft, and to invite suggestions from all the stakeholders.

The flipside to the current air of resistance from the faculty, and a reform in the current syllabus is not just appreciated, but needed. “Being a premier university, the revised curriculum is not only going to help our prospective students but would also set a trend for many other universities,” the committee’s statement said. However, it is the untimely and unconstitutional method of doing things that the student and the faculty communities collectively have a problem with.

Even in 2016, the History elective paper was entirely changed two months into the semester, marring the efforts of the students and teachers alike, and was met with opposition because a substantial investment went to waste. To avoid these confusions, a democratic process in a central university like DU must be adhered to.

Feature Image Credits: Niharika Dabral for DU Beat

Maumil Mehraj

[email protected]

What was once DU’s flagship course is now being offered by most private universities. While it remains to be one of the most popular fields of study, does it live up to the hype? Dissecting the nitty-gritties of the curriculum, we find that there is ample room for improvement.

With the advent of the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS) in 2015, there has been a paradigm shift in most courses. The University of Delhi embarked on a new-found semester system, discarding the erstwhile annual examinations. The rollout was a tedious process, full of delays and uncertainty. The reaction was eventually a mixed one.

In particular reference to commerce courses, CBCS has not enjoyed a favourable position among professors. A few recommendations by the academic council to revamp the syllabi have been welcome changes; including the introduction of the IT Act and computer applications as core subjects, with practical lessons to file ITRs under the subject Income Tax bringing the application aspect to theory. Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the commerce curriculum is another indicator of the continuous efforts made by DU to make learning more relevant.

Unfortunately, despite all progressive steps, commerce courses continue to teach several redundant and outdated portions. E-commerce, an elective subject offered in the 3rd semester, for example, includes HTML as part of its practical lessons and other generic theory related to online business transactions. Similarly, many core subjects act as mere additions to the theory taught in the 10+2 level, and the non-existence of case studies from these subjects is equally appalling.

One of the Heads of Department of Commerce at a prominent DU college said, “Everything happens under the ambit of the UGC guidelines, which makes the process of recommending changes in the syllabus a bureaucratic one.” Management Accounting is a subject that was compulsorily taught earlier, but under CBCS, it has become a discipline elective subject. According to her, CBCS claims to be choice-based but it undermines the urgency of a few courses and hence offers uneven combinations. Choices are offered, but most colleges do not have the infrastructure, and when one course is pitted against the other, either of those important courses suffers.

The curriculum is also not particularly flexible and is largely poorly designed. Covering the entirety of Income Tax and Macroeconomics in one semester is unjustifiable for both the teachers and students, thus, leading to lack of in-depth knowledge on any subject.

Private universities have started cashing in on this flawed course structure and are beginning to offer a diverse, well-planned layout. What used to be DU’s flagship course is now offered by multiple universities.

Despite this, there are a plethora of career options available for a commerce graduate to choose from. This course witnesses the highest packages being offered to some of its graduates. Semester Four includes subjects which are relevant to the skill-set required by a graduate in any job, for example, the application of Business Mathematics is a tool that would help future managers, and Applications in functions like MS Excel can hugely benefit its stakeholders. If DU continues on this path to revamp the course structure after shorter intervals of time, it can actually lead to value addition of a student’s skill set and make him/her more employable.

A commerce degree in itself is said to never be enough, but it certainly is a stepping-stone to the corporate world. For all the aspiring Chartered Accountants in the pack of freshers, B.Com(H) offers the most ideal course structure.


Image credits: NDTV

Vijeata Balani

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Extra classes, incomplete syllabus and internal tests lined up is haunting every student of DU. With semester exams kicking off from 20th November and a gamut of auspicious festivals approaching, semester students are bearing the brunt.

Sometimes teachers teach so fast, that nothing could be understood. The pace is a problem but student don’t have a choice. It does put more pressure; the teachers are also hard pressed for time. A cut in the extra-curricular activities that any student might have joined seems the only way out.

“It’s very disheartening to be the victim of sheer sacrifice of the quality of our studies. It’s a case of only feeding and no absorption. In one of the subjects, Econometrics, the entire annual syllabus now has to be completed in span of 4 months, making it tough for the teachers as well” expressed   Poornima Kharbanda, II Year Economics Hons. Student.

University seems to be in a rush to get over with the exams of B.Com (H) and Eco (H), as there exams start from 20th November and end by 30th November much earlier than last year’s exams.

But the students that are the worst hit, it seems, are from the science stream. While the exams for other students start on November 20 and their classes go on till mid-November, the practical exams for science stream students start on November 1, giving sleepless nights to teachers and students alike.

Apart from regular classes, about five hours of extra classes per week are held giving no room to indulge in extracurricular activities.

“These days are very hectic. Pressure created by the unorganised structure of the semester system gives us n flexibility at all. The extra classes, coaching’s, busy date sheet plus the huge syllabus has screwed days’ fixtures and schedule completely” Rishav a second year student spoke his heart out.