New Delhi, June 28: The Centre and the higher education regulator were accused of “arrogance” and “Talibanisation of education” today in a dissent note at key Delhi University meetings that ratified the revocation of the four-year undergraduate programme.
The academic council and executive council, attended by 80-odd and 20-odd members respectively, rushed through the motions by majority vote in barely 20 minutes each.
But eight academic council members and two at the executive council meeting handed in the same dissent note, accusing the human resource development ministry and the University Grants Commission of “arm-twisting” the university and “blasting” its autonomy.
“The ministry of human resource development and UGC’s coercive tactics and arm-twisting have resulted in blasting the academic space and autonomy of the University of Delhi and of all the universities and higher education itself,” said the dissent note.
It accused them of “political arrogance and Talibanisation of higher educationÖ to please the political masters by snuffing out the decisions of the vibrant organs of the university”.
The dissenters said the scrapping of the four-year programme would help private institutions by driving a section of students into their arms.
“A sizeable number of students want to study in the four-year system,” an academic council member said. “The four-year programme is more comprehensive and would help them pursue higher studies in foreign universities. Such students will now go to private universities.”
According to the dissent note, the ministry and commission have dealt “a permanent setback to the march of higher education”.
“These coercive and defamatory actions have displayed political determinism on the one hand and erosion of credibility of the university on the other,” it said.
The Delhi BJP had opposed the four-year programme and, following the change of government at the Centre, the commission had threatened to stop grants to the university and its colleges unless it scrapped the system.
The government had tried to distance itself from the directive but was publicly thanked by the four-year programme’s opponents.
An academic council member said there was hardly any discussion at today’s meetings. “Normally, academic matters are debated and analysed thoroughly but today it was clear that the university was under severe pressure.”
Both councils are made up of college principals, teachers, deans and outside academics. The dissenting members were Rajesh Kumar Jha, Sadhna Sharma, Sanjay Kumar, Anil Jha, Avinash Kumar, Sunaina, Suman Sharma and A.M. Khan (academic council) and Aditya N. Mishra and K.S. Bhati (executive council).
Fresh admissions under the three-year course will begin from Tuesday, a week behind schedule. The first cut-off list will be declared on July 1 and admissions will go on till July 3. The next cut-off list will be announced on July 4, followed by six more lists. The last date of admissions will be July 31.
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