SAVE DELHI UNIVERSITY! दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय को बचाओ! Critiques of the 4 year graduation, Press Reports, Campaign info
MPs, Trade Unions, Women’s Organisations, Civil Society Organisations and Leading Social Activists Question DU’s Hurried Shift to 4-Years Programme
Political leaders and MPs, representatives from Trade Unions and Women’s Organisations, as well as prominent figures in the Civil Society Movement responded overwhelmingly in favour of the Save DU Campaign at a Public Meeting outside the Faculty of Arts in Delhi University today. Even as news of the chaos surrounding the hurried and mindless syllabus-revision for the 4-Years Programme gets reported in the newspapers and TV channels on a daily basis, prominent parliamentarians and people’s representatives on various forums have decided to kick up a storm against the Government’s failure to intervene into the undemocratic and destructive restricting of undergraduate studies in DU. Their presence at the Save DU Campaign’s Public Meeting was accompanied by the attendance of a large number of students and teachers who are hopeful that the UPA Government will be held accountable for the mess it has allowed the DU Administration to create in the name of ‘Reforms’ and ‘Improvement.’
Prominent speakers who addressed the Meeting included Aruna Roy (Magsaysay Award-winner and Member of National Advisory Council), Amarjeet Kaur (CPI), Prashant Bhushan (Aam Aadmi Party), Sudha Sundarraman (AIDWA), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M, Rajya Sabha Member), P. K. Mazumdar (RSP and Member, HRD Standing Committee) Pratap Samal (SUCI-Communist), Aslam (President, All India Blind Students Association), Ritu Kaushik (AIMSS), Tapan Sen (CITU, Rajya Sabha Member), Chinglen Khumukeham (NEFIS), Prithvi (School of Open Learning) and Harish Tyagi (AICCTU).
Having been a student of Delhi University in the past, Aruna Roy expressed shock at the manner in which the DU Administration, goaded by the Vice-Chancellor, has made a mockery of all institutional procedure and democratic norms in trying to muscle in the 4-Years Programme. She observed that the sovereignty of the people is disregarded when, in matters like Higher Education, no effort is made to consult popular opinion. She promised to intervene in the NAC. Both Sudha Sundarraman and Amarjeet Kaur argued that the UPA Government’s policies are being guided by the interests of big-ticket private investors, monopolists and the IMF/ World Bank. That is why they are sacrificing the democratic entitlements of the people at the altar of private profit. The ill-conceived 4-Years Programme is designed to turn people away from quality education in DU and secure markets for foreign institutions and private universities.
Prashant Bhushan questioned the “unforgivable hurry” in introducing the FYUP and the lack of any initiative, on the part of the University or the Government, to explain the rationale behind it. He observed that the exit-points and the increase in cost that will necessarily accompany the addition of an extra year is bound to hit the students from poorer sections, especially women, hard and will act as a deterrent in their urge to complete their degrees. P.K. Mazumdar argued that the imposition of the 4-Years Programme is unconstitutional as it is against the National Education Policy. He reminded the gathering of students and teachers that since Education is in the Concurrent List, any such fundamental reform could only be implemented after adequate deliberations between the Centre and State Education Commissions. Since no such exercise has happened and DU is being allowed to go against the NEP, it is tantamount to a fraud for which the Government will be pulled up in the coming days.
Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M, Rajya Sabha Member) promised to raise questions against the irregularities accompanying the implementation of the 4-Years Programme in the Parliament. He said that a Call Attention Motion has already been submitted, which has been accepted, on the sorry state of affairs prevailing in Delhi University and that all Opposition parties are expected to put the Government on the dock on this matter in the current session of the Parliament.
Besides these, O.P. Kohli (BJP), Agatha Sangma and P. A. Sangma (NCP), Mani Shankar Aiyar (INC) Prem Gupta (RJD), Udit Raj (President, Indian Justice Party) and Pradyot Dev Burman (Tripura Congress) also sent their messages of solidarity for the Save DU Campaign. They have also pledged to raise the issue of irregularities and the severe compromise of quality that is being witnessed daily, as the process of implementation of the 4-Years Programme begins to gather steam. They are categorically of the view that the forcible implementation of the FYUP will have disastrous consequences and must be stalled for the time being to enable wider consultation and planning.
Nama Nageswara Rao, Lok Sabha Member from TDP could not join us because he got stuck in traffic jam while he was on his way. He has expressed his solidarity and shown willingness to take up the issue in the Parliament.
The Save DU Campaign will continue to take this issue to the public domain as we understand these “reforms” as anti-people.