The UGC has now directed DU to scrap the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), but it was around the same time last year that the UGC and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) gave the go-ahead for implementing the course.
On April 5, last year, DU Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh had sought approval from the UGC for the recognition of a new nomenclature for its four-year undergraduate programme.
In reply, the UGC while asking DU to change the nomenclature of the programme, had not objected to the implementation of the FYUP. It, however, asked the university to ensure that the “minimum duration of the programme be kept as per the provisions given in the relevant UGC Regulations”.
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“I would like to inform you that the proposal for the specification of Baccalaureate degree and Baccalaureate (Hons) was examined in this office and it was decided that the university may adopt any suitable nomenclature out of the list of degrees already specified by the Commission under Section 22 of the UGC Act, 1956. While the duration of the course may vary from University to University and even within the University… it may please be ensured that the minimum duration may be kept as per the provisions given in the relevant UGC regulations,” reads the communication sent by UGC secretary Akhilesh Gupta to the V-C.
On July 23 last year, the MHRD had written to the Central government counsel at the Delhi High Court explaining that the FYUP was “a misnomer”.
“Four-year undergraduate programme is a misnomer. Only students seeking Honours degree will have to put in four years. Those interested in joining a job can exit after the 2nd and 3rd year with Diploma and Degree,” reads the communication.
The MHRD correspondence further states, “According to the University, it has complied with all formal requirements… for introducing four-year undergraduate programme from July, 2013. In view of the above, there is no ground or occasion for the ministry to take an otherwise view on an academic issue like this.”
DU’s Academic Council, in its last meeting, had pointed to these letters, saying it had made FYUP compliant with the national policy on education.
The UGC in its last few communications to DU has asked the university to scrap FYUP stating that it violates the national policy on education, which advocates a 10+2+3 format.
The UGC also conveyed to the DU administration that it has failed to get the Visitor’s (the President) approval for its amended ordinance enabling the FYUP, and also failed to respond to the MHRD’s queries on the same in 2013.
The UGC, in its latest communication to the university and its constituent colleges, had ordered DU to conduct undergraduate admissions “only under the three-year undergraduate programme which was offered prior to the introduction of FYUP”, warning that any deviation from its directives would have consequences.