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Delhi University may scrap M.Phil programmes, implement National Education Policy from next year

A high-powered committee has also recommended continuing with DU’s three-year undergraduate programme but “assimilate in its structure” a four-year degree programme.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi |
Updated: August 22, 2021 7:34:13 am
Delhi UniversityA 42-member HPC has recommended continuing with DU’s three-year undergraduate (UG) programme but “assimilate in its structure” a four-year degree programme, as well as implement both one-year and two-year postgraduate programmes. (File photo)

Delhi University (DU) may soon decide to implement the National Education Policy (NEP) from next year and scrap its existing M.Phil programme in the process, if recommendations of its high-powered committee are passed. The implementation of NEP is on the agenda of the meetings of the Standing Committee (HPC) for Academic Matters scheduled on August 23, and the Academic Council (AC) on August 24.

The 42 member HPC has also recommended continuing with DU’s three-year undergraduate (UG) programme but “assimilate in its structure” a four-year degree programme, as well as implement both one-year and two-year postgraduate programmes. DU had earlier also appointed an NEP Implementation Committee (NIC) to work out the modalities.

Minutes of the HPC meeting held on August 18 — chaired by the Acting Vice-Chancellor and attended by several senior officials including the Director South Campus, Registrar, Dean of Students’ Welfare, Dean Examination, Dean Academic Activities & Projects etc — are annexed with the agenda of the Standing Committee meeting.

In its minutes, the Committee says: “The NEP 2020 should be implemented in the University from the academic year 2022-23.” The minutes also say that “the existing M.Phil Programme was recommended to be discontinued from the academic year 2022-23 in line with the NEP 2020.”

“As per the NEP Implementation Committee recommendations, the University should retain the 3 years Honours Degree as well as assimilate in its structure the 4 years Honours Degree and 4 years Honours Degree with Research… It was recommended that the University may implement both one year and two years Post-Graduate Programme, in line with the existing structure and that of NEP 2020,” the minutes read.

The Committee also said that “the quality of the degree conferred by the University should not be compromised”, therefore the “existing structure and workload should continue along with addition of various courses”.

“It was recommended that Multiple Entry and Exit Scheme (MEES) and Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) should be implemented in the University, keeping in view the maintenance of standard of education by emphasising on the core courses in the University and allowing the credits to be earned from other universities with respect to other courses,” the Committee said in its minutes.

For the lateral entry or re-entry of students, the Committee has recommended that “for students of other Universities registered under Academic Bank Credit system, lateral entry of eligible students be allowed into the University after conducting entrance test”, and for its own students, “re-entry may be allowed”.

However, some AC members have raised concerns about the “hasty” decision.

“This is exactly what was done during the implementation of the FYUP (four-year undergraduate programme) when it was brought straight to the AC. The matter should have been discussed in the Committee of Courses, Staff Council and Faculties. There was no larger consultation with teachers,” said AC member Naveen Gaur.

Mithuraaj Dhusiya, another AC member, said, “These are times of the pandemic, where we lost more than 40 teachers. We haven’t even come back to normalcy. What is this mad rush to implement NEP? The NIC submitted its report in February which was made public, but there has to be a formal mechanism to ask for feedback from common teachers. The university should come back to physical mode and there should be consultation with all stakeholders.”

However, Registrar Vikas Gupta said all processes had been followed. “FYUP was brought in single-handedly in only one university, whereas NEP is a national policy. We don’t have the mandate to reject it. The 42 member High-Powered Committee looked at it, the NIC’s recommendations were put on the website, it will now be discussed in the Standing Committee and the AC. We’re following all the rules. If we don’t start now, we won’t be able to implement it in 2022,” he said.

 

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