Within days of the University Grants Commission (UGC) calling for a review of the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), Delhi University came out in strong defence of the course, claiming that all due procedure was followed in implementing the course last year.
Responding to a communication from the UGC regarding the issue, DU pointed out that the FYUP was introduced in 2013 after following due procedure and by an amendment to the ordinance concerned.
The reply, sent by Delhi University Registrar, also stated that the amended ordinance was sent to the Ministry of Human Resources Development last year itself, as is the procedure for seeking approval of the Visitor (the President).
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Hardly wasting any time on the issue, the UGC shot off yet another letter to DU on Wednesday, asking it to send a copy of the communication it had sent to the HRD Ministry in this regard.
According to rules, the Visitor’s approval is desirable for an amendment to a University ordinance. Sources said while the DU administration may have covered its tracks by sending the amendment to the ordinance to the HRD Ministry as per procedure, it can always be questioned why it did not follow up on the same and ensure that the Visitor’s approval had come.
Also, it is to be noted that while Delhi University as an autonomous Central university is free to devise its academic programmes with the approval of its academic bodies, the same can be rolled back if the Visitor chooses not to approve the university’s amended ordinance.
In case President Pranab Mukherjee does not approve the DU amendment, FYUP will be rolled back, sources said.
The HRD Ministry advises the Visitor on all Central university-related matters. Union Minister Smriti Irani has met several delegations of the BJP student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, which had demanded a rollback of the FYUP. It is learnt that Irani assured the delegation that students’ interest would be protected. The Delhi BJP manifesto had promised a scrapping of the FYUP.
The stage was set for a possible rollback of the FYUP after a meeting of the UGC Commission on June 13 decided that DU be asked to review the implementation of the FYUP.
The UGC had argued that the FYUP violates the national policy of education that mandates a 10+2+3 format and that it is illegal as the change effected did not come by through the Visitor’s approval.
While the UGC had until last year supported the DU move arguing that as per the Kothari Commission report, the duration of a programme may vary from university to university, it has suddenly changed tracks after the recent change in the regime at the Centre.