Aina Singh (21), who studied English (Hons) at St Stephen’s College, is awaiting the results of her final year exam. In the three years at Delhi University (DU), Singh has seen three completely different course structures — semester, four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) and Choice-Based Credit System.
When Singh had joined the 2013-14 academic session, DU had introduced its ambitious FYUP system. After months of protests, the programme was finally scrapped in 2014. Singh and her batchmates followed the re-structured FYUP.
Having secured 94.6 per cent in Class XII, Singh decided to join DU as she wanted to study in a reputable institution that was not “too expensive”.
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“I didn’t think about FYUP then, although I did read articles in which the former VC spoke about bringing in a system that would reform higher education. I agreed with the idea and even defended it in discussions,” she says.
Sometime after their first year exams, the were told they may not have to study under FYUP. “We were confused. What system would we follow now? And for how many years? We were happy the foundation courses would be scrapped but were also worried about the workload and how we would cope with all the changes,” she says.
The second year turned out to be drastically different, says Singh. “FYUP was all about research. Now, we had to finish 22 papers like everyone else,” she says.
Then there was the issue of attendance. “In the first year, college was essentially a 9 to 5 routine. In the second year, our classes ended by 1 pm. As there was no strict attendance requirement, there was a sudden drop in attendance. Even if we didn’t have the requisite percentage, the university passed all of us as they didn’t want to detain an FYUP student. The third year was even more lenient,” she adds.
Although she doesn’t like to call herself a “victim” of experimental reforms, Singh says most of her batchmates felt that way. “When CBSE changed textbooks in school, I remember waiting for a month before getting the books. Our batch has had the distinction of facing a host of government reforms,” she says.
Singh adds that things could have been easier for her batch if the administration and government had planned better. “FYUP could have been introduced in a step-by-step manner… In the tussle between two political parties, students got caught in the crossfire,” she says.
Singh is now thinking of enrolling in a postgraduate course in DU or abroad. She hopes her results will be out soon as teachers are boycotting evaluation of undergraduate papers in protest against a UGC notification.
On Friday, however, teachers said they would evaluate only papers of FYUP students.