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Delhi University struggling for time to revise FYUP syllabus

July 12, 2014 22:47 IST

Delhi University is racing against time to alter the syllabus to ensure that students of the four year undergraduate programme can complete their course in the next two years. The academic session begins on July 21. contributor Bula Devi reports

The deadline for the committee of courses of various departments under Delhi University to revise the syllabus following the scrapping of the four year undergraduate programme ended on Saturday.

The committee of principals recently sent the university a revised basic structure.

The task before the committee of courses of respective departments was to sequence the course papers based on the revised structure.

The university sent out a letter on July 10 to all heads of departments to call an emergent meeting of their committee of courses to expeditiously organise the main papers in proper sequence to “ensure academic and pedagogical lucidity”.

The academic session will start on July 21.

As a result, the committee of courses of many departments are running against time to squeeze, condense and combine the syllabus so that FYUP students can complete their course in the next two years.

Once the committee of courses of various departments submit the proposals with sequence of syllabi, it will go to the standing committee of academic affairs and then finally to the academic council followed by the executive council.

While some teachers felt that the proposals of the committee of courses could easily go directly to the academic council, others are sceptical whether the committee will be able to meet the deadline.

Sources said some of the departments such as chemistry, management studies, etc have already done their bit while others were still struggling to meet the deadline.

One of the challenges of the rollback to three years from the four-year undergraduate programme is: if a paper that was supposed to have been in the fourth year of FYUP is incorporated in the third year of the rolled back three-year undergraduate course, FYUP students may not have the required knowledge to cope up with this paper.

As a result another paper might need to be accommodated and squeezed in to fill the knowledge gap that FYUP students are likely to face, a college principal told

The revised structure recommended by the committee of principals comprises 14 main and two concurrent subjects for the 2013 batch for the BA/ B Sc/ B Com/ BMS honours courses.

The syllabus will be split in the semester system as usual.

The academic year is split into two semesters in each year.

On the whole, students of BA/ B Sc/ B Com/ BMS honours courses are required to study 18 main papers of which four papers they have already studied in first year and 14 more need to be completed in two years time.

The committee of principal has suggested three main papers and one allied paper in each semester in the second year.

If this comes into force, students (who have studied the first year under FYUP) entering second year in this academic session will have to appear for six main papers and two allied papers.

And, when they appear for the third year, there will be four main papers in each semester, meaning eight main papers in total in the third year.

Another challenge is to deal with those FYUP students who fail in one semester or in one paper in one of the semesters.

Under FYUP, students were required to score an aggregate of 40 per cent to pass the first year. This 40 per cent included marks for the foundation courses.

“The decision on results is purely the jurisdiction of the academic council of the university, the departments have no role to play in this,” said a senior college lecturer.

The academic council is likely to meet by the end of next week over this issue.

In short, laidback students will have to pull up their socks and put their head down on studies.

In hindsight, it can be said that FYUP students were used as guinea pigs to conduct an experiment that failed. It did not yield any positive result except confusion because of the hasty, haphazard and unplanned approach with ridiculous and meaningless foundation courses.

Teachers opposed to FYUP often cite the example of Singapore, which apparently took six years to introduce a new education policy: four years in preparing the syllabi, structuring it, putting the right kind of infrastructure in place, besides looking into the needs of the society, and another two years for the pilot project to run.

As a result, Singapore is turning into an education hub today.

In contrast, Delhi University’s rush to introduce FYUP at the behest of the Congress-led UPA government was completed in three months, including “forced” structuring of syllabus within 30 days.

Many parents, despite the additional financial burden, sent their wards to study outside Delhi only so that their children could complete graduation in three years.

Today, with DelhiUniversity rolling back FYUP, the same parents feel cheated by the government’s shoddy and unplanned policies.

Bula Devi in New Delhi