As the Congress and the BJP prepare to contest fresh Assembly polls in Delhi, their student wings have upped the ante for the rollback of Delhi University’s four-year undergraduate programme introduced last year.
In fact, Congress-backed National Students Union of India (NSUI), who had earlier never opposed the new format, decided to rally against it after the issue was debated at a meeting on Thursday.
On Friday, BJP student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) held a protest march outside the UGC office. NSUI members, on the other hand, announced an indefinite hunger strike outside the Arts Faculty until the programme is rolled back.
“We have been fighting against the four-year programme since the time it was implemented in DU. The programme should be rolled back as it is against the national policy on education. It is a burden on students who have to pay more than Rs 1 lakh as fee and study an extra year. We also demand the Vice-Chancellor’s resignation,” Rohit Chahal, national secretary of ABVP, said.
The student body also submitted a memorandum to the UGC Chairman’s office reiterating its demands. The NSUI office-bearers, along with NSUI Delhi state president Vikash Chikara and DU Students’ Union secretary Karishma Thakur announced that they would sit on an indefinite fast beginning Friday.
Defending NSUI’s change in stand regarding the four-year format, media co-ordinator Amrish Ranjan Pandey said, “We were never against the programme. In fact, when it was launched, we did not raise an objection. But over the course of the year, and after collecting a lot of feedback, we have realised that a majority of students are not happy with the programme. At a party meeting on Thursday, we decided to rally against it. NSUI members will sit on an indefinite hunger strike till the programme is rolled back.”