Under the new DU scheme, there is a provision to award various degrees — Diploma, Bachelor’s Degree and Honours Degree on the completion of two, three and four years, respectively. Students not wishing to study for four years can exit after two or three years with a Diploma or a Bachelor’s Degree and can still return to obtain a four year Honours degree within a span of 10 years, if otherwise eligible. In other words, the programme gives unprecedented options to the students to pace their study years as they wish to.
The students receiving a Bachelor’s Degree (without Honours) will be full-fledged graduates on a par with graduates of other universities in terms of eligibility for employment. The existing reservation system in admissions, under government norms, will remain unchanged.
DU will not be unique. Currently, all the Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, new law universities and some other general universities are offering five year integrated programmes with no exit option or degree after three years. The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has started a four-year Bachelor of Science programme.
Under the Delhi University Act, 1922, the university is empowered to start new courses or programmes with the approval of its statutory authorities, the academic council, executive council and university court, all of whom accorded their approval with an overwhelming majority. Since the required procedures have been followed by the University, the question of annulling the FYUP by the Visitor does not arise.
(Dr. Shashi Tharoor is Minister of State for Human Resource Development.)