Published: 25th August 2021
DU passes NEP amid dissent: Multiple entry-exit, four-year programmes to be implemented from 2022
The dissenting AC members complained that the NEP issue was only introduced late into the meeting and was passed without proper discussion
The University of Delhi's Academic Council decided to implement the National Education Policy from the academic year 2022-23 on Tuesday after a meeting that ran late into the night. The decision was not unanimous and 16 of the 26 elected AC members registered their dissent. However, the resolution to implement the NEP was passed anyway.
The dissenting AC members said that there was not enough discussion on the issue before it was passed. They also pointed out that the Oversight Committee put in place has changed prescribed texts for "the new undergraduate LOCF fifth semester syllabi by bypassing the statutory bodies".
The Standing Committee's recommendations had come in a day before the AC finally met and they had said that NEP should be implemented from the next academic year with necessary cautionary steps so as to maintain the quality of the courses delivered by DU. The AC passed the same resolution on Tuesday night amid protests against the NEP. From the next academic year, the four-year undergraduate programme will be in place again after 2013. The FYUP was scrapped because neither students nor teachers were in favour of it. "Survey amongst students (in 2013) showed that they were spending close to Rs 1.5 to 2 lakh per year to stay in Delhi for their education. Students rejected the idea because of the dilution of the syllabus in the first two years of the programme. We see that the new model once again packs the first two semesters with lukewarm courses," Dr Abha Dev Habib, Treasurer, DUTA, told EdexLive.
The dissenting AC members complained that the NEP issue was only introduced late into the meeting and was passed without proper discussion. "It is extremely unfortunate that no substantial discussion was allowed in the Academic Council on the matter of FYUP with MEES or on other agenda items. No voting was allowed and the elected members were asked to deposit dissent notes. This is a subversion of statutory processes. Discussion in the Standing Committee, with 27 members, is not the same as discussed in the Academic Council with over 100 members. This shows that the DU administration lacks confidence in the FYUP model and is avoiding addressing important issues," said AC member Mithuraaj Dhusiya.
Dhusiya and 14 other members also deposited a dissent note on the Overreach Committee earlier in the meeting. Their complaint - the committee has scrapped parts of the Learning Outcome-based Framework (LOCF) without discussing with the relevant stakeholders like the faculty. "We strongly protest against the overreach of the Oversight Committee which arbitrarily changed texts in the new undergraduate LOCF syllabi of the fifth semester bypassing the statutory bodies like faculty members and Committee of Courses and Standing Committee. For example, two Dalit authors Bama and Sukirtharini were arbitrarily removed. Then, Mahasweta Devi's Draupadi, a story about a tribal woman was also removed. It is shocking to note that this Oversight Committee did not have any experts from the concerned departments whose syllabus was changed. There is no logic behind such removals," added Dhusiya.
The ABVP-led DU Students' Union welcomed the decision of implementing NEP from the next academic year and said that this will benefit the diverse population of the varsity. "When the NEP was released, we had said that this will finally liberate students from the aged colonial system of education. And we stand by it. DU has a diverse population — while there are students who want to pursue research, there are those who are interested in sports or some who cannot always complete their courses on time due to family issues. The MEES and FYUP will be hugely beneficial for them," said DUSU President Akshit Dahiya.