Under pressure from the University Grants Commission (UGC), Delhi University (DU) Friday announced it would roll back the controversial four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP).
In his first statement since the controversy erupted, leading to a delay in undergraduate admissions, DU vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh said, “University of Delhi recognises the need of the hour. It is of paramount importance to protect the interests of students by ensuring the start of the admission process. In line with the directive of the UGC, the university has decided to roll back the FYUP.”
“Consequently, the admission process shall be conducted under the scheme of courses that were in force in the academic session 2012-13 in all colleges of the University of Delhi. It is expected that the principals of our colleges shall assist in devising and ensuring a speedy completion of the admission process,” he added.
The announcement comes a day after the UGC refused to accept an alternative proposal recommended by “eminent academicians” that had been sent to it by the university administration. The proposal — a modification of the four-year programme which reduced the compulsory foundation courses and increased major discipline courses — recommended a three-year Honours programme.
In a strongly worded letter to the DU registrar, the UGC Thursday “exhorted” DU to commence the admission process “immediately”. Calling the compromise formula offered by DU “contradictory”, the UGC letter said, “On one hand you have said that rollback would require statutory approvals and on the other hand, you have talked of a ‘blended model’, which may provide a necessary way forward, which would inevitably imply that it would not require any statutory approvals.”
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The UGC said its directives had always been “clear and unambiguous” and reiterated the violations in implementing the FYUP.
The university replied saying it would comply with the directives and start admissions “very soon”. “I am directed to state that the university is in the process of drafting a response in accordance with the spirit of your directives to ensure that the admission process starts very soon. We shall send it to you at the earliest,” DU registrar Alka Sharma said in a reply to the UGC Friday.
The university administration has also constituted a 14-member committee to oversee the admission process. “The vice-chancellor has appointed a committee of principals, which will devise the modalities for admissions and advise and monitor all related issues in colleges so the process of admissions to undergraduate courses for 2014-15 is completed in the shortest possible time and in a smooth manner,” reads the statement from Sharma. The university’s statutory bodies are expected to meet on Saturday to ratify the rollback.
Owing to the FYUP row, undergraduate admissions to DU have been delayed for the first time in its history. While the application process ended on June 16, the first cut-off list was expected on June 24. However, with the UGC issuing directives not just to the university but even to its constituent colleges, threatening them with withdrawal of grants, nearly three lakh applicants had been left in the lurch.
While the BJP and the AAP welcomed the FYUP rollback, the Congress expressed displeasure with the way the ‘vice-chancellor was bulldozed by the HRD Ministry’.
“The hurry with which the programme has been rolled back shows that the V-C is being bulldozed by the HRD Ministry. A committee should have been constituted to look into the pros and cons of the FYUP,” Congress leader Haroon Yusuf said.