Friday, Oct 31, 2014

FYUP rollback: Why Delhi University rolled back its most ambitious reform so far

With the rollback of FYUP, fate of students enrolled in BTech and BMS courses is also unclear, with nothing concrete having been said about the two courses. (Source: Express photo by Oinam Anand) With the rollback of FYUP, fate of students enrolled in BTech and BMS courses is also unclear. (Source: Express photo by Oinam Anand)
Written by Aditi Vatsa , Shikha Sharma , Apurva | New Delhi | Posted: June 29, 2014 12:14 am | Updated: June 29, 2014 12:23 pm

After days of uncertainty and protests, Delhi University has scrapped the FYUP. Shikha Sharma, Aditi Vatsa & Apurva find out how and why the university rolled back its most ambitious reform so far

The siege of Delhi University has ended. It witnessed  demonstrations and intrigue that the premier university had not seen since the days of the anti-Mandal movement. The campaign lasted 10 days and the four-year undergraduate programme is now history.

On one side, championing reforms, stood Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh and his lieutenants. And on the roads, outside Singh’s office and Faculty of Arts, camped student bodies, teachers and politicians demanding the older system. The latter were aided by the University Grants Commission and the tacit backing of a new government at the Centre. As a former Academic Council (AC) member put it, the only thing that had changed in the one year since FYUP was implemented was the Central government. “Only one person has changed during this entire controversy — the Minister of Human Resource Development,” he said.

Incidentally, in 2013, FYUP had received complete backing from UGC Chairperson Ved Prakash, who did a volte-face days after the new government was sworn in. “The regulatory authority has become incapable of commanding any respect. The executive head has systematically destroyed his own institution,” said another DU professor.

The chaos could not have started at a worse time — on the eve of admissions. Lakhs of students from across the country flocked to Delhi, toppers with phenomenal grades looked askance till Friday when DU and Singh caved in and acceded to the UGC’s demands.

As the curtains come down on the first attempt in decades to drag DU — kicking and screaming — into the 21st century, The Sunday Express looks at the abortive FYUP saga and whether it was doomed since its very inception.

BEGINNING OF END

There were voices of dissent at the very beginning. It was in the AC meeting on December 24, 2012 that the course was passed by the statutory body, amid six elected members giving their dissent. If six teachers raised objections to the passing of the four year course in the AC, several others staged demonstrations outside the V-C’s office even while the meeting was underway.

The next few months saw protests gathering momentum. Even student groups, which had not been convinced with the arguments of the anti-FYUP campaign earlier, jumped in. “Some teachers’ and students’ organisations had been protesting against the four year course since December 2012. Since we had not seen the course structure or content, we continued…

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