As a controversy rages over Delhi Universitys switch to a four-year undergraduate programme,the University Grants Commission (UGC) has stepped in to point out that the baccalaureate degrees promised by the university are not tenable. Under UGC guidelines,a university can only offer B A Pass and Honours degrees.
This apart,the UGC has also advised that the two-year associate baccalaureate degree be swapped instead for a certificate/diploma.
While insisting that the conventional nomenclature of degrees be adhered to,the UGC has,on the other hand,fully backed the switch to the four-year format.
The Human Resource Development Ministry is also not inclined to interfere in the affairs of Delhi University several academics have voiced opposition to the four-year format and said it must be deferred by a year. The ministry,however,has asked the university to adhere to the conventional nomenclature of degrees as suggested by UGC.
As per the Kothari Commission report,the duration of a programme may vary from university to university and also within the same university,so there is no problem with Delhi University starting a four-year programme. There are some issues that have to be addressed though. This programme has to be aligned with the Masters programme offered in this university as well as other universities. Also it has been conveyed to the vice chancellor that conventional nomenclature of degrees has to be adhered to and no associate baccalaureate degree can be offered. The VC has agreed to these changes, UGC chairman Prof Ved Prakash said.
The issue is likely to be taken up at the Delhi University academic council meeting scheduled for May 7. V-C Dinesh Singh said he would not comment on the issue till it is taken up at council meeting.
The ministry which has been holding meetings on the issue over the last one week it is hearing out both sides is of the view that it is best not to interfere in matters pertaining to an autonomous university. Sources in the ministry said that as per information provided by the VC,it appeared that the consultation process had been conducted.
In view of the consultation rounds,there is no legal ground for the ministry to intervene as of now. On the allegations that the curriculum is being drafted in a hurry,the university said there was no major change in syllabi since this issue was addressed when the shift to a semester system was effected. There are some changes in multi-disciplinary courses and most HoDs have submitted new course outlines. Issues related to infrastructure inadequacy and teacher shortage may be there but these will be felt only next year,by which time these may be addressed, a ministry official said.