By Cheshta Rajora
2014 has been a roller coaster ride for the University of Delhi, thanks to its experiments with course formats and the controversies that followed.
Here’s re-looking at the what kept the University, teachers and students busy in 2014.
1. DU FYUP stand-off:
The highlight of DU’s 2014 timeline remains the long trail of intense protests by student organizations, teachers and politicians, decisions, indecisions and the final removal of the controversial Four-Year Undergraduate Programme. In June as the admission process was on, the University Grants Commission (UGC) sent a legal notice to the management, directing the university to immediately revoke the four year programme and revert to the earlier three year undergraduate degree, as the new programme was in violation of the National Policy of Education. This was soon followed by wide-scale celebrations.
2. ABVP protests :
It was a remarkable year for the right wing Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, which swept Delhi University Student’s Union (DUSU) elections in September bagging all four seats defeating National Student’s Union of India (NSUI). The last time it managed such a historic victory was in 1997.
3. Teachers’ protests:
Claiming that no permanent teachers were appointed during the present Vice-chancellor’s tenure, even though most ad hoc teachers were likely to lose employment in this year’s new academic session, the Delhi University’s Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and others staged protests in July to bring to limelight the lacunae present in the recruitment process.
4. Dinesh Singh:
Vice Chancellor Dinesh singh was the target of most protests and controversies this year. Post the UGC-DU FYUP row, he resigned amid protests against him. Delhi University’s Teachers’ Association released a 41-paged whitepaper with charges of ‘grave Illegalities’, ‘Academic Erosion’, ‘Administrative Breakdown’ and ‘Abuse of Office’ against Dr Singh.
5. Kiss of love:
Following the footsteps of non-violent protests against moral policing that kick-started in Kerala, DU students joined those from JNU and NLU against the prevalent fundamentalist right-wing stance of various groups and affiliates. They gheraoed the RSS office near Jhandewalan metro station.
6. Miranda, LSR to be co-ed:
Delhi University issued notices to Miranda House and Lady Sri Ram College for Women (LSR) directing them to become co-educational institutes. The order has to be ratified before the next academic year.
7. Autonomous status to Stephen’s, SRCC, LSR:
The Ministry for Human Resource and Development (MHRD) proposed to grant ‘autonomous status’ to top colleges St.Stephens, Shri Ram College of Commerce and Lady Sri Ram It also planned to include Chennai’s Loyola College and Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College, which already enjoy limited autonomy. The move was long overdue, and would give these institutions the authority to open up colleges across India, although barring them to issue any seperate un-affiliated degree or courses
8. Bar Council of India v/s Du LAW Faculty:
The Bar Council of India claimed that law students admitted in 2011-2012 onwards and passing out in 2013-2014 won’t be enrolled as advocates. In a letter addressed to the DU Vice-Chancellor sent on September 3, it said as DU had not applied for extension and approval of affiliation of council beyond the 2010-2011 academic year, law students admitted after 2011-2012 and who passed out from 2014-2015 academic year will not be enrolled as advocates. On September 22, the BCI sent a new letter claiming there was a typographical error in the first notice and it meant students who passed out in 2013-2014.
9. BTech and BMS:
The FYUP row proved disastrous for the exclusive BMS course that was only offered to six college across DU in 2013, as it was scrapped this year. Students of 2013 batch were left in limbo as speculations were going on over converting BMS to three-year program post removal of FYUP. Similar was the trajectory of BTech courses introduced in 2013 in subjects like Psychology and Food technology, Electronic etc which was also revoked this year. But in a major relief to hundreds of students, the Delhi University was directed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to continue with the four-year model for both the courses for students admitted in 2013.
10. No seat for CBSE Topper Sarthak Aggarwal at St.Stephen’s:
Facebook was abuzz with posts and counter-posts after All India CBSE topper Sarthak Aggarwal ended up in the waiting list of St Stephens College for Economic Honors despite his 99.6%. Post the incident, a host of memes and pages popped up claiming that ‘St.Stephens cannot accommodate the student who studies 25 hours a day’.
(The writer is pursuing her English (Hons) from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University)
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