New Delhi: The Executive Council of Delhi University has sent back syllabi of English, Political Science, History, Sociology and Chemistry to the respective departments for review. The departmental committee and faculty members will have to re-frame the syllabus and finalise it by July 31.
The EC meeting took place on Saturday and Sunday with elected members, deans, principals, vice chancellor and pro-vice chancellor.
However, teachers of the university’s Academic Council sent out a dissent note against the action. Rajesh K Jha, a faculty member, said this violated certain clauses of the DU Act, 1922.
He said, “We strongly dissent against the bending of syllabi of four subjects back to the respective departments of History, Political Science, Sociology and English. There is a violation of clause 3 (2) of the Delhi University Act 1922. The EC shall not have power to amend any draft proposed by the Academic Council under the provision of sub section (1) but may reject the proposal or return the draft to the Academic Council for reconsideration, either in whole or in part, together with any amendments which the EC may suggest.”
The note that has been signed by several DU teachers further said, “The autonomy of the departments should be respected. Every working day counts in the semester system and the decision to bring revised syllabus from August 1, 2019, will result in substantive loss and dissatisfaction among students.”
“The teachers’ basic right to frame the syllabi was snatched away with this,” read the dissent note.
The teachers were also opposed to the idea of imposition of choice-based credit system (CBCS) in a centralised manner by the University Grants Commission (UGC) as it interfered with the statutory jurisdiction of the AC and EC.
The revision process as directed by the university administration following the UGC’s UG Courses – Learning Outcome-based Curriculum Framework (LOCF) 2019, which does not mention the role of statutory bodies anywhere. “The guidelines are arbitrary and authoritarian,” the letter said.
The teachers have also expressed concern over the “revision process of UG courses started by the administration side-lining statutory bodies… which is also violation of our own statutes and practices.”
Predetermining the composition of course revision committee at the behest of the UGC that falls under the Union HRD Ministry is also a violation of relevant orders.
However, members of the National Democratic Teachers Front welcomed the decision of the Executive Council. Rasal Singh, a member of the front, said, “The syllabi of the four departments were propagandist and non-inclusive and hence, they’ve been sent for review.”
Singh had earlier written to DU Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi stating that the changes made after the AC meeting objections were not comprehensive.
“The cosmetic and superficial approach on such an important academic matter will not serve the purpose. Reconsideration and review is welcome,” he had said. The DU teachers are also concerned about the time that would be required to prepare the syllabus afresh and how that would have an impact on students.