North Campus turned into a battleground of sorts on Saturday, with student and teacher factions, protesting for and against the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), facing off outside the Vice-Chancellor’s office. Hundreds of policemen were deployed on the campus to ward off any untoward incident.
Protests began as early as 8.30 am with a group of ad-hoc teachers marching to the V-C’s office demanding that FYUP be allowed to continue and DU resume appointments to teacher positions lying vacant.
“According to the Kothari Commission constituted by the UGC, a university is autonomous to decide the duration of its academic programmes. Rolling back FYUP will reduce workload and will put a halt to permanent appointments of teachers. The university should not roll back FYUP,” Aditya Narayan Mishra of Academics For Action And Development told Newsline.
At the same time, organisations such as Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and Students’ Federation of India (SFI) staged protests demanding a rollback of FYUP, which they claimed would be “in the best interest of students”.
BJP’s student faction, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), also joined the anti-FYUP protests. A few ABVP members were injured when police turned water cannons on them as they tried to break through the barricades outside the V-C’s office. Five students were also detained by police, ABVP president Rohit Chahal said.
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National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), the student wing of the Congress, also got into a scuffle with police during their rally against FYUP, with four students getting injured.
First year students belonging to various DU colleges also came to the protest site demanding that FYUP not be rolled back. The students also performed street plays and sung songs in praise of FYUP.