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Real shame for UGC

Dinesh Singh
Delhi, (India): University Grants Commission(UGC) has recently scrapped the Delhi University’s (DU) four-year undergraduate programme. The major reason UGC points out that India mostly follows 10+2+3 policy and it is not proper to allow a four year undergraduate programme.

With the resignation of DU Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh, a renowned academician, protesting UGC’s over-regulation is heating up the issue. It is said that in 2013, UGC almost has given its mute consent for turning undergraduate programmes into a duration of full four-year, instead of three years. So the question being asked is this: What prompted UGC to take a U-turn on this issue after one year, in 2014? More over, Indian higher education system allows autonomy to some extend to the universities. In this case it is alleged that UGC tramples upon the Delhi University’s autonomy to decide the length of its academic programmes.

In the case of Delhi University, UGC has taken a double standard. Some of the colleges under UGC is running four year undergraduate programmes. For example, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore running a four year undergraduate programme in subjects like physics and Chemistry. Ambedkar University, Delhi also runs a four-year undergraduate programme in BA honours with a Dual Major. UGC also issued similar directives to other universities offering four-year undergraduate courses. So why it scarps the Delhi University’s four-year undergraduate course is still a mystery.

The other criticism against UGC is the improper timing of its decision. UGC asked the Delhi University to scrap its existing undergraduate programme and introduce a new programme in the middle of this year’s (2014) admission process. UGC should know that how much difficult it is to scrap or start a new academic programme in the middle of the admission process. It takes enormous administrative and academic and administrative difficulties. 

Anyway, the resignation of the DU Vice chancellor Dinesh Singh will be a backlash for UGC’s immature decision. He decided to submit papers after the Supreme Court refused to stay the notification by the UGC which will scrap the four-year undergraduate programme with immediate effect.

Now Delhi University has decided to rollback its early decision to introduce four year undergraduate programme. One thing is sure. UGC has shattered the confidence of the Universities to introduce brave academic decisions. So there is no wonder, if Indian Universities does not reflect in the top 200 Asian universities’ list.

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