A situation of alarm prevails among teachers and students in Delhi University even as admissions for the new academic session starts tomorrow. There is no preparation or clarity on the structure and syllabi of various courses for the undergraduate programmes in which thousands of fresh students are to be enrolled. Meanwhile the MHRD and UGC have continued to maintain an uneasy silence over the CBCS which has been passed without any academic discussion in the statutory bodies of the University. This lack of accountability and unwillingness to register the concerns of teachers and students has been questioned by the Save DU Campaign which stepped up its protests outside the MHRD today. It submitted 2700 signatures of students and fresh admission-seekers against CBCS to Amit Shukla, Director (UGC) MHRD along with a detailed memorandum addressed to Union Minister Smriti Irani. The protestors who included large numbers of teachers and students’ groups were, meanwhile, detained by the police.
The Save DU Campaign has been consistently demanding that the Ministry should seriously consider questions of equity and quality, as well as the feedback of the academic community on earlier reforms like the semester system, before giving a go-ahead for the implementation of the CBCS. However, the MHRD does not seem to be bothered by the comeback of the substandard and much-reviled FYUP papers in the current structure of the CBCS. In fact, the situation is much worse now as all universities are expected to teach these papers as part of the CBCS from the coming academic session. No objective assessment of infrastructure or preparations has been undertaken by MHRD/UGC to ascertain the viability of the CBCS. It seems content to continue the thoughtless policies that were adopted by the previous government under Kapil Sibal’s helmsmanship.
The Save DU Campaign has yet again appealed to the Minister Smriti Irani to intervene and put a stop to this frivolous manner in which big changes are being introduced, one after the other, to the detriment of students and academic processes, in Delhi University. It has warned the Minister that if the MHRD continues to give its tacit support to irresponsible Vice-Chancellors who are in favour of a mechanical implementation of the CBCS, it will further demoralise the academic community and bring discredit to its efforts to improve the standards of higher education.