SAVE DELHI UNIVERSITY! दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय को बचाओ! Critiques of the 4 year graduation, Press Reports, Campaign info
Delhi University’s Faculty of Arts has passed all courses that came up for its scrutiny in a farcical meeting in which the Dean did not allow any discussion to take place on the curricular content of the various courses before declaring them passed. This meeting, held today in the afternoon, however saw stormy denunciations by a large number of representatives from the colleges and University departments who felt that hardly any time was given to them to consider the courses in terms of any possible academic merit. Teachers called for a postponement of the decision to next week but the Dean declined to allow this overwhelming opinion to prevail. Serious procedural lapses and statutory violations with regard to the formation of the Committees of Courses in many departments, including English, Hindi and MIL, were pointed out. It was also observed that the Urdu department did not have a single meeting of the Committee of Courses before finalizing its list of courses and readings. Dr. Vijaya Venkataraman (Assoc. Professor, GRS), Dr. Jyoti Sabharwal (Assoc. Professor, GRS), Dr. Apoorvanand (Professor, Hindi), Dr. Najma Rehmani (Assoc. Professor, Urdu), Dr. Amitava Chakraborty (Assoc. Professor, MIL) and Dr. Nandini Chandra (Asst. Professor, English) were the prominent members who submitted their detailed dissents. Many teachers from various colleges and departments submitted their dissent on not being allowed the right to speak in the meeting.
Fifteen members submitted a note (text below) expressing serious reservations about the drastic restructuring of the undergraduate programme without proper deliberations. The members pointed out that the structure had not been discussed in the Faculty before being taken to the AC, thus undermining the powers of the Faculty as laid down in Statute 10. Other members joined in requesting the Dean for more time to scrutinize the syllabi but this was not allowed. (Full text of note attached)
Meanwhile, the Dyal Singh College Staff Council has condemned the Vice-Chancellor in a Resolution (see below) it passed today, against his brazen attempt to misrepresent the workload calculation and number of teaching posts in the College, through his open letter to the University’s teaching community, which has been displayed on the University website. The College Principal confessed that Dyal Singh College is yet to submit its workload and calculation of teaching posts. Hence, the bizarre claims made by the VC can only be seen as a desperate attempt to misguide teachers across colleges and departments in the University, in the face of stiffening opposition against the Four-Years Programme and growing worries about its hasty and suicidal implementation.
In fact colleges are finding it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to calculate workload, given the complete lack of clarity on so many questions, such as the class size, tutorials, curriculum of Foundation Courses, “re- appropriation” of seats, allocation of workload of IMBH and CA.
The Save DU Campaign condemns the sly methods through which the Vice-Chancellor continues to stifle rational voices of concern and browbeat faculties into accepting his haste, while at the same time, he indulges in sentimental and misleading PR exercises to garner support for his hollow agenda of ‘reform.’ The Campaign also extends its solidarity with the teachers who have begun to come out in the open and raise their critical objections to the undermining of academic quality in the Four-Year Programme and reiterates its commitment to take the struggle to its logical conclusion.
Meeting of the Faculty of Arts held on 26 April 2013
We, the undersigned members of the Faculty of Arts, express serious reservations over the manner in which a drastic restructuring of the undergraduate programme and its courses are being done in haste, without proper deliberations about the academic reasons for such a shift and without concern for adequate infrastructure being available for such a revamp.
Further, it is also a matter of great concern that the structure for the proposed Four Year Undergraduate Programme has not been discussed in the Faculty before being adopted by the Academic Council, hence undermining the powers of the Faculty as laid down in Statute 10. Instead, the Departments have been directed to make the syllabi for the courses by a letter of the Dean of Colleges in less than 15 days. Teachers, therefore, have been compelled to prepare courses and syllabi within an unreasonable time constraint. The academic ramifications for various disciplines have not been discussed properly. We feel that, in the best interest of students, the members of the Faculty should be given more time to examine the courses in a reasoned manner. That most courses and syllabi have not been circulated to the members in order to ensure fruitful academic deliberations is also not in the interest of the institution as well as that of the students.
The Committees of Courses have been asked to make syllabi for the multiple exit programme without having a clear idea of the course content of the Foundation Courses. While we appreciate the efforts of colleagues who are working hard at making syllabi despite reservations about the viability of the structure, in particular its ramifications for the PG courses, we feel that the structure proposed by the Academic Council as well as the Courses and syllabi placed for consideration be taken as drafts for wider debate and discussion before any decision is taken to replace the present structure with one which has not been thought through.
Signed by 15 members