Delhi University (DU) Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh, who was persistent with his decision to continue with the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) has resigned on Tuesday.
The resignation, reportedly, came after Supreme Court (SC) rejected the petition filed by former DU Teachers Association (DUTA) president Aditya Narayan Mishra. He filed a plea seeking cancellation of University Grants Commission's (UGC) order to withdraw FYUP. SC denied to hear the plea and asked to approach the Delhi High Court instead.
Today, Singh tried to prove that the step to introduce FYUP was taken under the guidelines of UGC. He produced a letter received by UGC, in 2013, permitting to move ahead with FYUP. The letter, sent by UGC secretary Akhilesh Gupta to Singh, approved the DU's decision of implementing the four-year UG programme.
"I would like to inform you that the proposal for the specification of Baccalaureate degree and Baccalaureate (Hons) was examined in this office and it was decided that the university may adopt any suitable nomenclature out of the list of degrees already specified by the Commission under Section 22 of the UGC Act, 1956," Indian Express cited from the letter.
"According to the University, it has complied with all formal requirements... for introducing four-year undergraduate programme from July 2013. In view of the above, there is no ground or occasion for the ministry to take an otherwise view on an academic issue like this," it further cited.
DU teachers in support of the FYUP have gone on a 24-hour hunger strike against the UGC's order to scrap the four-year UG programme. They have alleged that FYUP was introduced in compliance with the rules and regulations and UGC's directive.
"The programme had been passed by the University Court, Academic and Executive Councils and then sent to the President, Visitor of the University...It is an attack on DU's academic freedom and autonomy by the UGC on the behest of Ministry of HRD and this hunger strike is to resist the attack on academic freedom of higher education institutions," Hindustan Times quoted a professor at DU.
Confusions among Colleges; Admissions on hold
The Delhi University Principals' Association, who has been opposing the FYUP ever since it was introduced, held a meeting on Monday after receiving the declaration from University Grants Commission on dissolving the FYUP.
The DUTA afterwards declared to defer the admission procedure of thousands of applicants in the wake of UGC-DU confrontation over FYUP.
"We are getting conflicting guidelines from DU and the UGC. So it will not be possible for us to conduct the admissions process," IBN quoted the Principals Association President S K Garg.
Although Shri Ram College of Commerce declared the cut off lists for Commerce and Economics on Monday evening, they too had suspended the admission procedure after the meeting.
"In light of the Principals' Association meeting, we have decided to defer admissions. We want to wait and watch what action the university and the UGC take on the issue," Indian Express quoted SRCC Principal P C Jain.
However, the colleges have agreed to postpone the admissions, seven of them have decided to scrap the FYUP. Complying with the UGC's order to discard FYUP, seven colleges have reportedly written to the Commission agreeing to stick with the three years UG programme.
On 21 and 22 June, UGC ordered DU to do away with the FYUP and revert to the three-year UG programme by Monday. It also asked the parents and students to take admission under the three-year programme only and not under FYUP.
UGC warned the DU of consequences under the UGC Act 1956, if it fails to comply with the orders. It has also asked that those who were given admission under FYUP in the academic year 2013-14 must be transferred to the three-year UG programme, according to news reports.
Although the Ministry of Human Resources and Development has opposed DU's decision to implement FYUP, it has refrained from intervening between the UGC-DU disagreements. In a meeting with the UGC on Monday, it has asked them to solve the issue on their own.
DU Students Union too has disapproved of the four-year UG programme and has been protesting in favour of UGC's decision.
Hurdles ahead of Scrapping FYUP
The colleges declare the cut off lists for all the courses only after receiving data containing the details of the applicants. For the 2014-15 admission, the applicants have applied under FYUP, which do not have the Pass/Programme courses.
"The prospectus is on the four-year programme and students have applied for courses under that programme. If the four-year course is being rolled back, then how can we decide cut-offs on the basis of this data? We have no information about applicants for the Pass courses since applications had not been invited for them," Principal of Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences S Lakshmi Devi said.