New Delhi: With just days left for Delhi University's admission process to begin, over 80 academicians on Sunday issued a statement in support of the new four-year undergraduate programme and said detractors were spreading false and misguided propaganda. In the statement issued by DU Registrar, the academicians said a handful of "misguided individuals" from within and outside the university were trying to derail the process of introducing the new structure.
"This intervention has been necessitated by the recent utterances and opinions of a handful of academics, self-appointed intellectuals and armchair columnists whose track record in the realm of academia and institution building speaks volumes for their true credentials," it said. The academicians, some of whom also addressed a press conference, said the university had scrupulously followed all rules and regulations in the processes for change. "This well thought out exercise has been the culmination of extraordinary efforts of a very large segment of the university's community.
"Those who refused or chose not to participate in some of these processes of consultation such as the Open Academic Congress do not have much of a right to voice concern," they said. On criticism by some outfits that an extra year would be a burden for the economically and socially weaker sections, the academicians said the new pattern will be better suited for these segments than the previous one as the choices for Masters degree would expand.
They also assured that the programme was flexible for change, if any shortcoming is found in the new pattern. "The new programme will always have scope for improvement and that is one of the hallmarks of this new Four Year Undergraduate Programme. It is open to continuous evolution, which by definition is for the better." The new four-year undergraduate programme, to be introduced from this year's academic session, has been in controversy ever since a section of teachers and students objected to its "hurried implementation".
Left leaders, including Sitaram Yechury, have taken the issue to the doorsteps of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The new programme will be a shift from the present 10+2+3 scheme and entail awarding a diploma if a student exits after two years, a bachelor's degree after three years and a bachelor's degree with honours or a B Tech degree on completion of four years.