Delhi University’s ambitious four-year undergraduate programme is now a reality with the Executive Council on Thursday approving all the courses, examination schemes and amendments to university ordinances that are required to introduce the new structure from this July onwards.

“With these approvals, all formal requirements as per the University of Delhi Act, statutes and ordinances have been complied with and the university is all set to launch the programme,” said DU Registrar Alka Sharma, adding that under the new structure, they had specially tried to “modify the curriculum, mode of instruction and assessment patterns to address the special needs of students with disability. We have already embarked on the process of working out these modalities,” she added.

Of the 21 members present and voting in the Executive Council meeting, there were two dissents and the university was extremely pleased with the outcome. It released a statement that said: “Designed to enhance the student’s employability, entrepreneurial skills and research inclinations, according to the tastes and talents of each student…this programme permits holistic growth of students through co-curricular activities and other benefits.’’

However, it was not all smooth sailing in the Executive Council meeting with accusations flying thick and fast of foul play from some members who claimed that the meeting, which got over in three-and-a-half hours, was a farce. “We were not even given personal copies of the syllabus, how can we approve the courses honestly then?” questioned EC member Abha Dev Habib, one of the dissenting members.

“It is disturbing that the Executive Council, in its meeting held today, amended ordinances without any application of mind. Two of us were thus forced to dissent on passing of all agenda items; the unhappy situation was compounded by the fact that whenever issues were raised on the recommendations, I was repeatedly told that the Academic Council has already discussed the matter for hours,” she added.

The six dissenting members of the AC, which had concluded its meeting late on Wednesday night, also issued a statement during the day. It read: “In the meeting we noticed that in the making of the syllabus, statutory as well as established procedures were violated repeatedly at every step. Teachers at large were kept away from the process of syllabus designing. The statutory committees of courses were often improperly constituted and there was inadequate planning in the courses that were eventually prepared…. All these points and more were raised and we demanded that further academic scrutiny was required before these courses of study could be considered by the AC…this demand was ignored.”

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