After a prolonged stand-off Delhi University vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh relented and scrapped the four-year under graduate programme (FYUP) on Friday. But it now appears that the Left and the RSS were behind, what many say, a sustained campaign to derail the programme because of their own agendas.
While the Left was dead against filling up of the 4,200 teaching posts created because of FYUP, the RSS wanted its cadre to take control. So much so, that talks are in the offing that the RSS is keen to have a VC of its choice.
Since a four-year graduation course means more work for teachers, colleges had announced 3,500 teaching post vacancies and the various departments of the university had come up with 700 posts. With Singh as the VC, neither the Left nor the RSS could bring in their cadre.
"The Left influenced teachers' recruitments in Kerala and Bengal. But they are not in power in either of the two states. As a result, Delhi is their only field to play," a senior teacher said.
Unlike pervious VCs who gave in to the pressure tactics of the Democratic Teachers' Front ( DTF), a Left wing teachers body, Singh took his own stand. So, for the Left as well as the RSS it was important that the FYUP programme got derailed.
"There is a game behind opposing it. FYUP has created some additional vacancies and the Left is somehow trying to get it deferred so that it can continue its monopoly over teaching positions," said professor Chandrachur Singh of Hindu College. Singh is currently the India research coordinator at the University of Birmingham.
It is not just Western countries but countries like China, Bangladesh and Pakistan too have switched over to the four-year curriculum. And in India, six central universities, along with some private ones are already following the four-year pattern.
"The UGC which approved of our courses last year is today saying that it is not in sync with the National Education Policy. In that case, all other universities following the four-year curriculum are violating the education policy," Aditya Misra, former president of Delhi University Teachers' Union said.
On Sunday at an emergency academic council and executive council meeting, the university administration brought in an ordinance to go back to the three-year undergraduate programme. The meeting that lasted for less than 30 minutes ended without any discussion or debate over the course. "It was done in the most undemocratic manner. The VC just read out the resolution. Despite protests it was passed by the house," AC member Rajesh Jha said.
The university's visitor's (president ) representative, Navin Chawla, in an informal conversation after the meeting, is learnt to have said that the president too approved of the four-year programme and was unhappy with the goings-on.
The Delhi University will start admissions to three-year undergraduate programmes from Tuesday. After a delay of about a week, colleges will bring out the first list on Monday and admissions will start from Tuesday.