The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to Delhi University on a public interest litigation by a non-government organisation seeking a stay on implementation of the “discriminatory’’ four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) by Delhi University from the next academic session.
Issuing the notice, a Division Bench of Justice Darmar Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath asked the university to file a reply to the petition by May 15, the next date of hearing.
Accepting the notice, counsel for the university submitted that several issues connected with the four-year programme had been addressed by the Academic Council and the grievances raised in this petition had also been considered.
The petitioner, Sambhavana, an organisation of physically-challenged teachers and students in the Capital, said that the existing design of FYUP was discriminatory as it did not take into account the aspirations and specific needs of students with visual impairment and other print-disabilities.
It stated that if the course in its present form was implemented, the visually-impaired students would suffer irreparable loss as a large number of them would not be able to avail of the proposed benefits .
Under the inter-disciplinary programme, students were required to study foundation courses from multiple streams.
Two of the 11 foundation courses to be studied over first two semesters would be on mathematics and science. In most cases, visually-impaired students were discouraged or practically barred from taking the two subjects after class XII, the petition said.
It further said that like most schools in Delhi, the university had not made adequate arrangements for teaching the two subjects to these students.
Yet, the new programme had made it compulsory for all the students to study courses that required prior knowledge of science and mathematics, the petition stated.
The university had two options in this case. Either it could exempt these students from studying courses that required knowledge of the two subjects or it could tell them to look for some other universities. In either case, it would be treating them as second class students in complete violation of their fundamental and other legislative rights of equal participation, the petition alleged.