Published: 03rd August 2019
DU earns Eminence tag, 'shocked' teachers ask where is the syllabus
The syllabus was sent back for reconsideration by the Executive Committee and a revised syllabus was asked to be submitted by the end of July
Delhi University was accorded the Institute of Eminence tag — the country's finest — by the UGC on Friday. But the University's English department does not look so happy about it. English teachers, across Delhi University, said that they were "shocked and appalled at the unacademic, politically motivated attack" on the syllabus.
In a statement to the media, 83 teachers of the university said that they had submitted a "democratically drafted syllabus" and the administration has kept them hanging for over two weeks, since the university opened, without a syllabus. "It is a matter of sorrow and deep academic concern that the syllabus is now being maligned, and is sought to be scuttled, by certain political groups at the University," read the statement.
"I think the focus has to shift away from what they are asking us to remove and whether the English Department has agreed or not to the fact that their campaign against English syllabus is only political and not guided by any investment in academics," said Vinita Chandra, Associate Professor from Ramjas College. "Those attacking the teachers involved in making the syllabus know for a fact that a very large number of teachers were involved in the process and that all the signature sheets are available with the department, so they are deliberately misguiding the university for their own political gains. It is an absolute scandal that two weeks of a 16-week semester are over and the university is not able to finalise the syllabii of four departments because of right wing political pressure. Does this look like academic concern at all? They have no concern for thousands of students who have no syllabus to study after entering the prestigious Delhi University has got the eminence tag," added Vinita.
Saikat Ghosh, who has been in the forefront of the debate right from the start said that the university is deaf to their appeals. When asked whether there is a specified time line for the administration to come to a decision, Saikat said, "They make and break their own rules. Objectively, students and teachers are suffering." Executive Committee member of the Delhi University, Indira Chandrashekar had reportedly urged the Vice-Chancellor to take steps to expedite the process.
The detailed statement by the teachers reiterated that the decision of finalising this particular syllabus was a democratic process from the start. "At every point, discussions were minuted and circulated to ensure a continuing of the democratic spirit in which the entire exercise was undertaken. The syllabus has received extensive student and faculty feedback since it has been on the department website for far longer than other subject syllabii," read the statement. It went on to add that there was no "leftist" as alleged. "We are thus deeply dismayed that deliberations which have been marked by an open, free and fair exchange of ideas, are being described as ‘Leftist’ and ‘partisan’. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is to be noted that objections that are now being raised were never submitted during the time allocated for feedback," added the note.