A large number of activists belonging to the All India Students’ Association (AISA) were detained by the police and taken to the Parliament Street police station on Thursday while they were headed towards Rashtrapati Bhavan to protest against the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) of Delhi University.
The student activists were intercepted by the police at the Central Secretariat metro station gate no. 4 around 11-20 a.m. The protesters later submitted a memorandum at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“We had already informed the police about our intention to protest today. I had personally spoken to the authorities and they did not have any objection yesterday. However, just as we stepped outside the metro station today, they detained our volunteers,” said Anmol, State president of AISA.
An official memorandum was released by AISA appealing to the Delhi University Vice-Chancellor to rollback the FYUP and accept the University Grants Commission's (UGC) directives. Additionally, the AISA memorandum stated that if the Vice-Chancellor continued to stall the admissions process, he should be made to resign.
The AISA members also opposed the proposal released by DU on Thursday which suggested a restructured FYUP under which a student could obtain an honours degree in three years, keeping the fourth year optional.
“We do not approve of this proposal. Revamping an illegal course makes no sense. This is against the UGC directives,” added its State president.
He explained that the recently proposed programme is designed to offer only 17 honours courses without the research paper in a span of three years. However, if DU were to revert to the three-year programme, it would enable a student to complete 20 honours courses along with the research work in the same period. An AISA delegation comprising three members later went to Rashtrapati Bhavan to submit their memorandum, but it could not meet President Pranab Mukherjee in person.
AISA leaders said they have also planned another protest against the newly proposed programme outside the UGC office.
(Inputs by A.R. Rakshitha and Maggie Krueger)