New Delhi: Over 10,000 students of Delhi University on Thursday voted against the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) in a referendum conducted amid confrontations with police and administration, student body AISA said. The referendum conducted by All India Students Association across 20 Delhi University colleges saw participation of 11,556 students with 91 per cent of them voting against FYUP, which was launched in 2013 despite protests from various quarters.
"The referendum received a tremendous response from the student community. 10,519 students voted against FYUP, while only 936 approved of the new structure," AISA member Sunny Kumar said, adding that 101 votes were considered invalid. Kumar claimed the "peaceful" referendum carried out at various colleges was met by disruptions as police and administration "snatched ballot boxes and removed polling booths".
"The principal of Satyawati College confiscated one of the ballot boxes and even now, as the result is declared, the box is still in his office. The popularity of FYUP can be well figured out by the manner in which the police and college principals are colluding to silence the voice of students," Kumar alleged.
Citing the tremendous response to the referendum, AISA president Sandeep Singh demanded that Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh should accept the results and rollback the four-year programme. "Students will not accept being treated as guinea pigs for experimentation in a course with bad syllabus and no infrastructure," he said.
Reacting to the negative response received by FYUP, a Delhi University professor said students took admission into the university knowing about the four-year programme. "The referendum is meaningless. No one was forced into taking admission in Delhi University. All students who have got into various Delhi University colleges knew that the FYUP structure was being introduced," he said. However, there was also another section of DU teachers who heartily welcomed the referendum.
Abha Dev Habib, Delhi University professor and member of Delhi University Teachers' Association (DUTA), said it was a commendable effort and shows that all the criticism against FYUP was valid. AISA members also held a demonstration at North Campus to protest the "crackdown" by DU administration and police. The four-year programme was introduced this year despite protests from various quarters, including political leaders and activists, arguing that the courses have been diluted under the new structure.