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“New DU course part of design to change higher education”

Staff Reporter
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Changing times:NDA Convenor Sharad Yadav flanked by CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury (left) and Arundhati Roy at a debate on four-year undergraduate programme at Delhi University on Friday.- Photo: R.V. Moorthy
Changing times:NDA Convenor Sharad Yadav flanked by CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury (left) and Arundhati Roy at a debate on four-year undergraduate programme at Delhi University on Friday.- Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury on Friday promised to take up the issue of Delhi University’s four-year undergraduate programme with the Human Resource Development Ministry.

It is not an internal matter of DU but part of a design to change higher education, he said while speaking at a discussion on “FYUP: New education policy without national debate” that was organised by the Joint Action Front for Democratic Education (SC, ST, OBC and Left) here.

Mr. Yechury’s sentiments were echoed by writer and activist Arundhati Roy who said the issue had not just drawn the concern of the Left but of various other people cutting across different ideologies. She also drew a comparison with the situation in the United States when privatisation of education took place and said there was an ulterior motive to all this and that the role of corporates could not be ruled out.

However, the main reason was to control what was being taught at universities so as to change the national discourse. She posed a crucial question: “Who asked for the four-year course and why?”

Jawaharlal Nehru University Professor Jayati Ghosh said the argument put forth by the university was not an argument but statements that they were right and those who disagreed were wrong. Delhi University’s insistence that “outsiders” had no right to criticise it was completely wrong since it was a public-funded university, funded by taxpayers money and that they had the right to question when huge amounts of money that could be spent elsewhere on education was being spent for the conversion of the programme, she said.

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