It was in April 2012 at a dinner hosted for some people that the Delhi University administration first unveiled its ambitious plans to convert its coveted three-year undergraduate course to a four-year programme.

The next day, newspapers informed the university’s teaching community that their decades old structure would be overhauled completely — they did not have a clue until then.

Later in September an academic congress “enabling the young, redefining education” was called. The university said later that this meeting yielded enough feedback from the teaching, parent and student community to make them realise that the four-year course was the need of the hour. A few weeks later a 61-member task force was set up to “make suggestions on a framework for the conduct of teaching programmes to the university,” among othes things.

Two agendas

Later on in December, a notice for a meeting of the Academic Council (AC), the highest decision-making body in the university, was sent to its members.

There were two agendas, one was the recommendations of a certain task force for a four year undergraduate programme with multiple degree options and agenda two was the addition to Ordinance V(1) to provide for three degrees, Associate Baccalaureate, Baccalaureate and Baccalaureate with Honours / B.Tech.

Modifications

Later that month, another notice for an AC meeting was sent, with a few modifications of its earlier recommendations.

However according to teachers opposed to the FYUP, no report containing stocktaking of infrastructure, teaching positions and logistical requirements was made available to the AC.

“The AC adopted the FYUP and the structure in which it has to be carried out. All the 61 members of the task force were made special invitees to this AC meeting. These invitees not only made presentations, but were also allowed to participate through the course of the meeting and influenced discussion and decision… a press statement by the Registrar on this day claimed that a revolutionary programme has been adopted,” said Abha Dev Habib, one of the organisers of the “save DU campaign,” which lobbied with politicians and took its fight to the streets. It also continued its agitation even after admissions were completed for the new FYUP, in June.

The university has always maintained that it has duly consulted with and invited suggestions from all concerned, while also emphasising that the programme can evolve and improve and that nothing is cast in stone.

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