The problem is not so much the structure of the course but the structure of its syllabus.

Voices Sunday, June 22, 2014 - 05:30
Alankrita Anand| The News Minute| June 22, 2014| 12.20 pm IST The University of Delhi, which introduced the FYUP (Four Year Undergraduate Programme) last year, drew much criticism from faculty and students alike for the same. The decision to move from a three-year degree to a four-year one was considered to be Kapil Sibal’s pet project propelled by Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh.  Now, within a month of the change in government, various protests were staged by ABVP (the student wing of the BJP) and requests made to the HRD Ministry to review and revoke the Programme. According to reports, the UGC issued a directive to the University to repeal the Programme immediately. The directive comes at a time when the admission procedure for the coming session has been initiated and admissions are slated to begin on Tuesday. On the 14th of June, the UGC asked the University to review the implementation of the FYUP after declaring it illegal. The Programme was declared illegal because it violated the National Policy on Education the mandates a 10+2+3 format. The change was not brought about through an amendment of the Universities Act; the President (the Visitor to all central universities) was not consulted either. Incidentally, the UGC had supported the University’s move last year and said that as per the Indian Education Commission (1964-66), the duration of a programme may vary from varsity to varsity and also within the same varsity. The BJP, in its manifesto had promised that the FYUP would be repealed. The AAP had made the same promise in its 2013 Delhi manifesto. But political games aside, what does this mean for the students and the prospective students of the University?  The FYUP was introduced to bring Delhi University at par with universities in more developed countries and also to train the students for jobs in a corporate world. The Programme gives the students greater flexibility in their chosen programme and also a greater variety of options. However, according to the students (and the teachers) this is not necessarily a good thing. The problem is not so much the structure of the course, but the structure of its syllabus. The DUTA (Delhi University Teachers’ Association) had tried to resist the VC’s decision because the syllabi had been drafted in a hurry. In plain and simple words- most of it is too basic. The course is divided into two parts- Discipline Courses and Foundation Course. While the former are courses from the subject that a student is majoring in, the latter has a range of courses from Integrating Mind, Body and Heart, Building Mathematical Ability, Language, Literature and Creativity, Business Entrepreneurship and Management, Science and Life and more. Interactive learning though book discussions and presentations maybe good but not so when the IT syllabus teaches students what a monitor and printer are. There are good courses too, but the overall syllabus barely brings about any value-addition to what was already there.  However, now that the University is likely to repeal FYUP starting with the session scheduled to begin in July, the status of the current students enrolled in the Programme remains ambiguous. Not many students have found the course gratifying, and are all the more convinced about having wasted a year now. The University of Delhi is considered one of the premier universities of the country and around 2.7 lakh students have applied for the 54,000 seats. Yet, the University has been functioning in a rather indecisive way in the last one year.  HRD Minsiter Smriti Irani has said that the interests of the students will be protected. And that is exactly what the University needs to- give the students what is best for them, with a definite amount of stability. Alankrita Anand is a student at the Lady Shri Ram college, New Delhi.

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