In his last attempt to push for the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) that he introduced in Delhi University last year, and probably also to get closer to the BJP government, DU vice chancellor Dinesh Singh had on Monday sought time with union minister Arun Jaitley to make his case for introducing Vedic Mathematics as a compulsory paper. He asked for an appointment with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat as well.
Singh, who is a professor of mathematics, has been in the past criticised by the BJP for introducing FYUP in Delhi University. The BJP and the Modi government want to scrap FYUP but Singh has not budged. This week saw things come to a head on the issue, and on Tuesday confusion reigned with reports of Singh's resignation and 'no resignation' ruling the airwaves.
Sources close to Singh confirmed that with the FYUP controversy refusing to go away, the DU VC rushed to Jaitley on Monday, seeking an audience with him. However, the BJP stalwart and finance-cum-defence minister refused to meet him.
"Singh was told that the BJP election manifesto clearly says that the party is against FYUP and there was not much that the BJP could do," said a source close to Singh.
Singh then sought an appointment with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. But he, too, turned down his request. "We waited for the RSS response the entire day. But neither Jaitley nor Bhagwat gave him an appointment," said a close aide of the VC. Thus his attempts to be in the good books of the RSS also went in vain. HRD minister Smriti Irani had also on Tuesday kept Singh waiting at her office for two hours, before turning him back.
Singh's close aide Umesh Rai, director South Campus, and Sangit Rai and Chandan Kumar, both deans of different DU departments, tried hard to push his case. The three are known to be close to RSS.
"The university was planning to teach Vedic Mathematics as a foundation course in the first year. The paper would have been a mandatory subject for all," said a source.
However, BJP refused to hear Singh on the issue. Vedic mathematical formulae have been derived from the Atharvaveda. These formulae make mathematical calculations simpler.
When Murli Manohar Joshi was HRD minister in the Vajpayee government, he had proposed teaching Vedic Mathematics at the under-graduate level. However, the university was then critical of the course.