Won’t overrule DU’s 4-year plan: Shashi Tharoor at Google+ hangout

DU says all approvals in,Minister says 'inappropriate' to tell V-C what he should do.

Written by Naveed Iqbal | New Delhi | Published: May 10, 2013 1:44:57 am

As decision-making bodies of Delhi University pushed for a switch to a four-year undergraduate programme from July,Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said that the ministry would not intervene though he had been approached by people to do so.

“It is not my decision. It is the decision of the Delhi University and it is completely within the prerogatives of the university to start a new course. It would be inappropriate to tell a Vice-Chancellor what he should or should not be doing,” Tharoor said replying to a question on a Google+ hangout on “the future of higher education” in India.

He said the ministry would not overrule this decision of the university as it would be a very dangerous step and set a wrong precedent for the future. “The true bite of this decision will only come after four years,but for now the ministry can only make sure that due processes are being followed in its implementation.”

Tharoor said that the ministry had raised some concerns with the university “which they replied in detail. However,there are questions to which they do not have answers but they have four years to work that out.”

The decision to switch to a four-year undergraduate programme has created deep divisions in the university — there are academics who think it’s a wrong move,and there are others who say they are not against the format but don’t understand why it is being rushed.

Despite the protests,the university looks set to introduce the four-year undergraduate programme in July this year.

On Thursday,the Executive Council gave the go-ahead to the new curricula,degrees,scheme of evaluation under the new structure.

“With these approvals,all formal requirements as per the University of Delhi Act,statutes and ordinances have been complied with and the university is all set to launch the programme,” an official statement from the Registrar’s office stated.

In deliberations that went on till late in the night,the Academic Council approved 55 courses and their syllabi on Wednesday.

The four-year course is being introduced with the objective of enhancing “employability/entrepreneurial skills/ research inclinations according to the tastes and talents of each student”,the Registrar said.

Another issue being raised by teachers relates to the compliance of the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines of 2006 on implementation of the government’s reservation policy in Central government institutions.

Responding to a question on the implementation of these guidelines,Tharoor said all Central universities,except Delhi University,have been following the guidelines. Delhi University,he said,provides reservation only at the level of Assistant Professor.

“Delhi University has informed us that it has referred the matter to the UGC for certain clarifications… It (Ministry) has asked the UGC to clarify to the Delhi University to implement the UGC’s Guidelines of 2006 strictly without any delay,” Tharoor said.

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