Press Release, 18.5.2010

Sitaram Yechury requests Visitor to examine violations of the Act of the Parliament by DU VC in abruptly pushing through semester system without proper discssions

The academic future of the University of Delhi is grave danger. The hurried pace at which the semester system is being thrust upon its undergraduate programmes by Prof. Deepak Pental at the behest of the MHRD is shocking for anyone concerned about academic processes and standards. Ill-framed and incomplete syllabi are proposed to be thrust upon students who are going to be admitted to various undergraduate science programmes. These syllabi have been drawn up without participation of teachers of the concerned subjects and bypassing the due statutory processes as well as established academic and consultative processes.

Moreover, the syllabi are fitted to a framework that does not have the concurrence of the Academic Council. The framework itself has been extensively critiqued by the academic community as unsuitable for maintaining let alone improving academic standards. The Vice Chancellor in a tearing hurry to implement the semester system has disallowed due deliberations and academic debate over the challenge of improving quality and limited the rights of the body. In this context Com. Sitaram Yechuri has sought the intervention of the President of India who is the Visitor of the University of Delhi.

The text of his letter is as follows:

Dear Respected Rashtrapati Ji,

I am seeking your indulgence as The Visitor, University of Delhi.

I am informed that serious developments are taking place in the University of Delhi. The Vice Chancellor, pleading pressure from the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the University Grants Commission is forcing major structural change in the University by abruptly introducing a Semester system. The VC, I am informed, is not allowing an informed debate among its highly qualified faculty nor in the Academic Council. Such a discussion is important to gauge the implications that such a structural change would have on the quality and pattern of teaching in the University.

The Delhi University was established through an act of Parliament. Its statutes, ordinances and the decisions of its Executive Council and Academic Council derive authority from the Act of Parliament. Any structural changes will have to be in consonance with the Act. By pushing through a major structural change without proper discussions the consequential powers under the Parliamentary Act seem to be flouted.

In this context I am forwarding to you an appeal from Dr. Abha Dev Habib, a member of the Academic Council of University of Delhi. The matter is self-explanatory and is substantiated by various annexures.

May I request you to have this matter thoroughly examined urgently so that the quality and content of education in this premier university is not compromised with.

With warm regards,

Sitaram Yechuri.

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