Tuesday should have been admission day in Delhi University (DU). But Monday ended that hope. DU was forced to go back on its word. The war over '4 years or 3 years' was at its gates. Human Resources Ministry (HRD) refused to intervene.
This at a time when six international universities are waiting to enter India. And students are becoming the casualty owing to the uncertainty. They hung around colleges, knowing that they could do nothing. The move affects the lives of 80,000 students, who took admission in the Four Year Undergraduate Program (FYUP) in the last academic year, and another 54,000 who hope to be shortlisted this year.
"I have got sufficient score to beat the cut-off and have also faced the interview, but now I have to look for other options as there is no clarity in which course am I getting enrolled in," said Aman Arora, an 18-year-old outside St. Stephen's College, which has now deferred the admission process. "I am very disappointed. There's utter confusion."
The script is being played according to the BJP election manifesto. BJP has been against FYUP, which was introduced in April 2013 by then HRD minister Kapil Sibal. Things came to a head on Sunday when the University Grants Commission (UGC) weighed in behind the BJP. It gave DU colleges a day's time to drop FYUP and re-embrace TYUP (three-year undergraduate program) or their lifelines would be cut.
"Admission for academic year 2014-15 at the undergraduate level in the general degree programmes (including the Honours programme in different subjects of Humanities, Science and Commerce) in various colleges under the University of Delhi shall only be to the 3-year undergraduate programme," UGC told college principals.
Simultaneously, the UGC published a notice in newspapers informing parents and students of the impending move. Those who enrolled in FYUP last year were asked to migrate to TYUP, which colleges were told to facilitate.
On Monday, HRD minister Smriti Irani said her ministry will not interfere. "It's a row between the UGC and Delhi University," she said.