Published: 27th May 2023
DU Academic Council meeting: Council maintains paper on Ambedkar but alters title
The Academic Council of Delhi University (DU) met yesterday, May 26, and passed several resolutions and also dropped poet Iqbal from syllabus
The Academic Council of Delhi University (DU) met yesterday, May 26, and passed several resolutions. One of the contentious issues discussed was the removal of the paper titled "Philosophy of BR Ambedkar" from the BA syllabus. However, the council decided to retain the paper with a few modifications. Specifically, Ambedkar's writing titled "The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women" was changed to "The Rise and Fall of Indian Women."
Dr SK Sagar, the chairperson of the Social Democratic Teachers Front (SDTF), expressed concern about this change, stating, "How can they simply alter someone's writing in such a manner? The essence of the work is lost."
During the meeting, the council also approved other controversial resolutions, one of which involved the exclusion of a chapter on Pakistan's national poet, Mohammed Iqbal, from the curriculum. Born in undivided India, poet Iqbal is well-known as the man behind the famous song "Saare jahan se acha." The council meeting extended until 1:30 am, covering various important matters such as the ad-hoc professor displacement issue and the establishment of the Ambedkar Chair, among others.
Prof Anjana Sagar, the SDTF representative at the Academic Council, commented, "We raised various issues, and although some received assurances for resolution, others were left unanswered." The council did promise to expedite the pending promotion cases at the university and requested a comprehensive list of faculty members involved. Furthermore, they agreed to establish the Ambedkar Chair at the university by working closely with the respective departments. However, no response was provided regarding the issue of SC/ST backlogs. Dr SK Sagar remarked, "In this centenary year of the university, it is shameful that the backlogs still persist."
Another controversial resolution passed during the meeting involved the introduction of the Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP), replacing the existing Bachelor of Elementary Education (BElEd). Dr SK Sagar raised concerns about the necessity of introducing a new course, as he believes it will render current BElEd teachers jobless.
Additionally, the ongoing issue of ad-hoc professors was also addressed at the meeting. Prof. Anjana Sagar reported that the Vice-Chancellor assured the attendees that principals would be directed to consider experienced ad-hoc professors who have served for an extended period, providing them with a sense of job security.