The government on Friday said it would not interfere in the Delhi University’s decision to introduce a four-year undergraduate course, but would look into the concerns expressed by some sections. Any decision on deferring the programme by a year would be taken by the University, which was an autonomous institution, it clarified.
“We should not be seen as dictating to them or questioning their wisdom. If they feel comfortable to go ahead, we do not want to come in the way,” Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju told reporters here.
The concerns expressed by the dissenting groups were discussed with DU Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh who assured that “things are going in the right direction,” Mr. Raju said.
‘No cause for alarm'
There would always be resistance to change, the Minister said, adding students need not be “alarmed.” “We definitely do not want to derail the enthusiasm and momentum generated and certainly do not want to impinge on the academic authority and independence of the executive council of the university.’’
About the concerns expressed, Mr. Raju said: “We are giving it deep thought and scrutiny and ensure it is addressed.’’ He, however, added the concerns were limited to the speed with which the programme was being implemented and the omissions of some key elements of the course, not for the new scheme per se.
The new programme awards a diploma if a student exits after two years, a bachelor’s degree after three years, and a bachelor’s degree with honours (or a B. Tech degree) on completion of four years. It has, however, come in for criticism from DU teachers as well even as it was endorsed by the academic council with an overwhelming majority. “We are looking into protests very thoroughly and we are continuing to meet people. We want to be doubly sure that things are being done properly and at the right pace,” Mr. Raju said.
The Ministry was watching what the academic and executive councils had done and whether they had followed the procedure while endorsing the programme. “I know the intention of the programme is right in terms of placement, proper career path. The logic of altering the course is aimed at increasing their employability prospects, providing soft skills, IT exposure and multidisciplinary approach. I don’t have any doubt in believing the intention.”