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Find out what dna readers feel about the ongoing tussel for the four year UG degree

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 - 11:30am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

Is the face-off between Delhi University and University Grants Commission over the four-year undergraduate programme leading us anywhere? dna asks its readers
  • Students filing their admission forms during the admission process for the new four-year undergraduate courses for academic year 2014-15 Manit Balmiki dna

The issue has been under scanner for many years

The DU-UGC issue has to be seen in a larger perspective. In the 10th plan which came in 2004, there was a policy decision accepted by then cabinet, that 1023 should be taken into totality. Then the importance was stressed on the need to switch to credit-based modular structure of learning and removing the boundaries in 3 domain. It was a progressive decision but did not come into reality with a government change. There has to be a flexible approach on whether it should be 3/4/2, because at this stage the student is already 20 age. The 3 concept is questionable and outside India it has been removed, so why shouldn’t India. The Delhi University’s decision of bringing in 4 is also questionable, because question arises then why can’t it be 3/2. For decades we have been observing 1023 system. The 3 part has been under question for many years. The problem is we are not adopting a singular well defined policy which is true across the country. Higher education is important for the whole nation so there has to be uniformity with common policy and it has to be the domain of the central government. Right now our policys are taken concurrently by state as well as the central government, which is why these discrepancies arise. These concurrent policies are creating big confusions in our higher education system.
—Arun Nigavekar, Former UGC Chairman

Need of the hour is to take a pragmatic decision
As the academic future of thousands of students is at stake, the need of the hour is to take a pragmatic decision instead of a hasty one. The HRD Ministry should take a decision after due deliberations with the academics, higher education authorities, the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) and leaders of student-political outfits. The need of the hour is to have a healthy dialogue and arrive at a consensual decision that is beneficial to everyone, most of all to the students.
The four year programme of Delhi University has impacted every college under Delhi University and 2.5 lakh students affiliated to the Delhi University. More than 60,000 students are pursuing the course.Teachers across colleges said they were not consulted about the new plans or given enough time to redesign the courses. Major stake-holders were left out of a massive overhaul of the education system. Current schooling system in India (the 102 scheme) allows students to enter college primed to choose a specific subject or discipline. I prefer the Three -Years Programme Only.
—Ajeenkya DY Patil. Chairman, DY Patil Education Group

DU’s plan neither feasible nor logical
University Grant Commission an apex body has set up a three years plan for all the degree course which comprises 6 semesters. This three year course plan is valid for all the universities in nation. Delhi university plan’s to extend one more year in degree course, is neither feasible nor logical. Because the degree courses such as BA/BCom/BSc are not that vast comparatively to Btech and BE Programme. Btech and BE has tremendously vast portions and they follow 4 years module course which includes 8 semesters and even practical hands on. For Practical hands on and in depth knowledge regarding other degree courses UGC has allotted 2 year masters program after Graduation. Delhi University is autonomous body but has to take permission to make any educational changes in University. Therefore, Delhi University merely can make a plan but to extend a year it will have to take approval from UGC.
—Sunder Rajdeep, chairman ad-hoc board (studies in communication & journalism)

UGC should not be the sole decision-maker
UGC grants is the final authority only in the non professional education. There are other authorities for other courses. The respective authorities should be allowed to take their own decisions. Now this issue has taken a political turn and it can be solved only in the courts. University has the power to make decisions regarding the framing of duration, timing, syllabus, books, course etc. The powers of the UGC are advisory to the university. The 1023 that is how students do their tenth then two years of eleventh and twelfth, and then a three years under graduate course, is the national policy of education. The main conflict is between UGC and the national education policy (1023) and the Delhi University’s decision on the introduction of the four year course. I think this conflict will be resolved only in the courts.
—PA Inamdar, President, Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society

There should be fewer rules for higher education
I agree that the university and the authority of education should be allowed to take their own decisions. There is too much regulation in the educational systems, which is not needed. There should be one final authority and less of rules and regulations. The UGC do not see the long term effects of the new rules they want to introduce. They themselves are not clear about the decisions they want to take. It creates turmoil among the students and slows down their education process. There should be flexibility in the education system. The Universities should be allowed to take decisions but it should not be immediate and they should have considerate approach towards the students. I do not know if it has taken a political turn but whatever it is, they should take a firm, final decision.
—Col (retd) A Banerjee, Professor DY Patil

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