Delhi University’s four-year undergraduate course now has the official backing of the Union Human Resource Development Ministry, with Minister M. M. Pallam Raju releasing a statement saying that the four-year undergraduate course will be implemented this year in response to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
This clarification comes close on the heels of a letter sent to the Minister from Rajya Sabha member D. Raja expressing concerns at the “manner in which this reform is being implemented,” and further stating: “It is my considered opinion that this programme should be reviewed urgently in all its aspects.”
Inadequate infrastructure of the University to deal with the new course, the illegality of starting such a course without the necessary sanctions from the UGC, teachers’ allegations that course structure was being kept a “secret” from them are all concerns expressed by D. Raja.
The statement from HRD Minister Pallam Raju, states, as if in response: “The University has informed the Ministry that the Academic Council (AC) had resolved five years back to hold wide consultation for introducing four-year dual subject honours degree course. The University has held extensive consultation with various stake-holders like students, parents, teachers, Deans of faculty, Heads of Departments and Principals over a period of two years. All of them were in favour of rectifying the ills of the existing programme and making it relevant for the students by addressing the contemporary needs of the society. In the process of consultation, an Open Academic Congress was also held in September which was attended by over 1,400 stakeholders. They recommended the introduction of the four-year undergraduate programme.”