Under pressure from the University Grants Commission to act on its directive, the Delhi University on Friday scrapped its controversial four-year undergraduate programme and reverted to the previous three-year structure.
In a statement, DU Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh asked principals of various colleges affiliated to the varsity to start admissions for the new session. “In line with the directive of the UGC, the University has decided to roll back the FYUP. Consequently, the admission process shall be conducted under the scheme of courses that were in force in the academic session 2012-13 in all the colleges of the University of Delhi,” Singh said.
The decision puts an end to the uncertainty over the admission process for 2014-15 which was triggered due to the stand-off between DU and UGC over FYUP.
Over 2.7 lakh students have applied for admission to more than 54,000 seats in 64 colleges of the varsity. The admissions were to begin on June 24 but have been delayed due to the stalemate.
Singh said DU recognises the need of the hour and it is of ‘paramount importance’ to protect the interests of the students by ensuring the start of the admission process. “It is expected that the principals of our colleges shall assist in devising and ensuring a speedy completion of the admission process,” he said.
Hours before the VC’s statement on the rollback of FYUP, DU wrote to UGC saying it was in the process of drafting a response in accordance with the ‘spirit of your directives’ to ensure the admission process starts very soon.
It was responding to repeated directives from UGC to dump FYUP and revert to the previous three-year undergraduate programme at the earliest. UGC had on Thursday night sent another letter to DU asking it to roll back FYUP and immediately begin undergraduate admissions.
Meanwhile, the Principals’ Association of Delhi University on Friday met to deliberate how to go about with the admissions.
Shri Ram College of Commerce principal P C Jain said they would meet the VC to discuss how to go forward with the admission process under the three-year undergraduate programme. “Principals will individually put forth their issues before the VC,” he said.
On being asked about the fate of students pursuing four- year BTech courses, Pro-VC Sudheesh Pachauri said that “as of now the statement of the VC is our text. We do not know anything less or more”.
The Delhi University Teachers Association welcomed the VC’s statement with its executive committee member Vijaya Venkataraman saying that the “democratic functioning” of the university has been upheld.
She also lauded the efforts of HRD Mi ister Smriti Irani and said the ministry has given an assurance that students’ interest will not be compromised.
Amit Awana, President of Delhi University Students’ Union, also hailed the decision to roll back FYUP. “The long movement against FYUP by students has finally succeeded. Also, this will put an end to the dilemma that students had been facing since past three days regarding when the admission process will start,” he said.
Image: AISA activists protest against the four-year undergraduate programme of Delhi University at Parliament Street in New Delhi on Thursday. Photograph: PTI