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First batch in ‘Save BTech’ cry

BTech students of Delhi University protest against the UGC decision to scrap the four-year undergraduate programme

New Delhi, June 25: Vicky Kumar’s ambition to become a computer engineer would have died last year had Delhi University not announced its BTech course under the four-year undergraduate programme.

Unlike private engineering institutions or deemed universities that charge over Rs 1 lakh a year, DU charges only Rs 11,000 from Vicky, who lost his father when he was a child and hails from Bihar’s Sitamarhi district.

Vicky is now worried that the BTech course may be changed to BSc (computer science) if the four-year programme is revoked.

“My mother does farming. I wanted to study BTech (computer science) in DU to get a good job. I would then help my two younger brothers for their education. But if I don’t get a B.Tech degree, I don’t know if I will get any job,” he said.

Vicky is among 2,500 students who have taken admission in various BTech programmes in DU last year. They are demanding that the four-year course should not be scrapped.

They staged a dharna in front of the offices of the UGC and DU vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh to put pressure for continuation of the four-year programme.

“We have taken admission for the BTech course. If we do not get a BTech degree, it will be cheating us. I cannot imagine Delhi University cheating students like us,” said Rohit Kumar, a BTech (computer science) student of Maharaja Agrasen College.

He said he and his classmates had studied four papers on computer science and four foundation course papers in the first year. The computer papers were on computer systems and architecture, C++, data structure and linear algebra while the foundation course papers were on science and life, Indian history, business entrepreneurship and Hindi.

“We have compared the course with BTech courses of IITs. Our course is very comprehensive,” Rohit said.

A group of academics who suggested a compromise formula to end the admission deadlock have recommended that the BTech courses should not be touched. These courses have blended skills training, theory and courses on general studies and literature.

Various organisations of students and teachers, under the banner of “Save D.U. campaign” today expressed concern over the continuing delay in admissions. They will stage a demonstration in front of the UGC office on Friday to push for immediate resolution of this deadlock.