Published: 12th February 2022
Despite voices of dissent, DU Executive Council passes UGCF to align varsity with NEP
The UGCF will require students in the four-year undergraduate programmes to earn 50% of the 176 credits offered in order to get a major in the discipline of their choice
The Executive Council of the Delhi University passed the Undergraduate Curriculum Framework (UGCF) in a bid to align the working of the UG programmes to the National Education Policy (NEP). The UGCF will come into force from the academic session 2022-23 as the varsity simultaneously adopts the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP).
However, three members of the Council raised dissent against the UGCF and protested against the "half-baked" restructuring of the programmes. These included Court members to the EC, Advocate Ashok Agarwal and Advocate Rajpal, and a teachers' representative Dr Seema Das. The three members also recorded a dissent note, where they demanded that the draft UGCF be sent back for detailed feedback from all statutory bodies within the university. Advocate Rajpal later revoked his dissent.
The UGCF was earlier passed in the Academic Council on February 10, with 11 members dissenting. "What has happened is unfortunate," said Dr Rajib Ray, former President of the DU Teachers' Association. "What has been passed in the Executive Council is the same as what was cleared by the Academic Council. Without taking into consideration the hard reality of DU, they have passed this draft. It puts into question the structure and autonomy of the university. The Executive Council has not taken into consideration the working condition of the teachers," added Dr Ray
The UGCF includes two features of the NEP — the multidisciplinary approach and the multiple-entry and exit scheme (MEES). The draft offers a total of 176 credits and requires the student a minimum of 80 credits (50%) in a discipline to earn the four-year undergraduate degree with a major in that discipline. DU EC member advocate Ashok Agarwal said the UGCF, along with MEES and Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) Regulations, is a major overhauling.
"DU is known for its undergraduate studies. Given the number of students and teachers involved in UG studies, it is important to tread with caution and not repeat the mistakes of the FYUP implemented in 2013. Over 70,000 students take admission every year in UG courses. Serious concerns were raised about the adverse impact on the quality of education and teaching jobs. We urged for wider consultation and feedback from statutory bodies at the department and college levels. It is a deja vu situation for DU — a repeat of the FYUP 2013 fiasco in the making," said Agarwal.
During the Academic Council meeting, the members in their dissent note had said fixing of the academic year 2022-23 as the year of implementation of NEP 2020 is "baseless". They had said the scheme is "so faulty" that in a year's time, this is the fourth model of the four-year undergraduate programmes placed by the university for discussion.
They had said that the UGCF does not follow the framework as stipulated by the draft National Higher Education Qualifications Framework (NHEQF) on which the UGC is seeking feedback. The note advised the university to compile concerns raised in the statutory bodies on NEP recommendations, including on UGCF, and send it to the UGC as feedback on NHEQF.
"The current batch of Class XII students had enough of instability in terms of their crucial years getting affected by the COVID pandemic. It will not be fair to force rushed exercises of CUCET and FYUP on them. For once, the University of Delhi should be spared from these experiments," said the AC dissent note.
With inputs from PTI