The controversial four-year undergraduate programme of Delhi University which was rolled back by the Narendra Modi government last year, would be part of deliberations during framing of a new national education policy. “With regards to the four year course in any capacity… will it be allowed, that is also a part of the new education policy deliberation,” HRD Minister Smriti Irani said during an interaction with the students at the Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) here. She said this to a poser by a student, underlining that the decision to scrap the programme was taken as such programme had no legal sanctity. DU had on June 27 last year scrapped the course and reverted to the previous three-year structure under pressure from UGC. The decision had put a cap on prolonged agitation by a section of the teachers and students demanding rollback of the FYUP course. Irani encouraged the students to post their feedback about their wish from the new education policy on www.mygov.in. “We genuinely believe in change. Give us your views as the existing education policy is 22 years old now,” she said. Government had on January 26 officially launched deliberations on the new policy inviting suggestions from stakeholders across the board on 32 selected items.
As part of the deliberation, the minister plans to visit some institutes in the coming days and interact with students. To a suggestion from a student of SRCC today who fumed that technical institutes and programmes are being given preferences over liberal arts, she said suggestions should be posted in the website for consideration. She also sought feedback from students on the nomenclature of courses and about diploma programme that could be changed into degree courses. Listing out the initiatives taken by her ministry to improve quality of education, she said capacity building of teachers was one the prime focus of her government. She said this when her attention was drawn by a student to the quality of teaching in classes. When an Economics student from Madhya Pradesh shared his plight of being unable to keep pace with the rest in his class due to his Hindi medium background and alleged lack of support from teachers, Irani assured him that he would have no such problem and that teachers would definitely help him out.