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DU laptop riddle after four-year course exit

New Delhi, July 27 (PTI): Delhi University may have logged out of the four-year course but not out of a laptop question.

Principals of Delhi University colleges are clueless what to do with laptops supposed to be distributed to first-year students under the scrapped four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP).

There has been no word from the varsity on the laptops, which were meant to help students in project work in foundation courses under the FYUP. The devices were to be returned after the first year.

“The laptops were distributed to FYUP students as they were needed to meet the demands of the curriculum. Now that the curriculum has been rolled back and we are again back to the three-year programme based on rote learning, the laptop distribution isn’t needed,” said S.C. Jain, the principal of Sri Ram College of Commerce.

DU had invested a large sum in purchasing the laptops with the aim of making better use of technology in the revamped and longer four-year programme.

It was left to the colleges to decide whether they wanted students to deposit security money before the laptops were given out, though the gadgets were insured under an SBI scheme against loss or damage.

A key question is whether the devices will be re-allotted to the next batch of students or be sent back to DU.

“Nearly 50,000 laptops were distributed to the students and around 1,000 to teachers. It was a wonderful initiative and it garnered good response from students as it came as a boon for thousands who could not otherwise afford a laptop,” said DU media co-ordinator Malay Neerav.

Neerav appeared to suggest that it was best if the laptops were not kept idle as the varsity had invested heavily in them.

“I agree the laptops were distributed keeping in mind the technological needs of the learning-centric curriculum under the FYUP and now we are back to the teacher-centric blackboard method of learning. But I believe we should utilise them since money has already been invested,” Neerav added.