Great expectations follow Aam Aadmi Party’s spectacular performance in the recently concluded Assembly elections, as voters now wait for the new party to deliver on its promises.
One such promise made in the AAP’s manifesto for the Timarpur constituency, which was won by AAP’s Harish Khanna by 3,383 votes, is the rollback of Delhi University’s four-year undergraduate programme.
The new format, which was implemented in July this year, did not agree with a large section of DU teachers and students. They now hope that Khanna, who had said he would pressure the Central government to abolish the system, will live up to his promise.
Khanna, who is the secretary of the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) said, “The FYUP is only destroying a well-established education system. I have promised to put pressure on the Central government to do away with the programme.”
Nandita Narain, the president of DUTA, said she was confident that Khanna would manage to swing the change. “The university has taken a beating under the Congress and we are confident that the AAP can help. Harish is absolutely against the four-year system, which has restructured the university to match the American educational system, making it substandard and out of the reach of the common man. Harish has put certain issues of the teachers in the manifesto of the Aam Aadmi Party.”
Harish Khanna was the vice-president of DUTA when the four-year format and the semester system were implemented in Delhi University.
Aditya Narayan Mishra, former DUTA president, however, said while Khanna might be able to exert a certain level of pressure after winning in the constituency, decisions regarding DU and the University Grants Commission (UGC) are taken by the Ministry of Human Resource development, which is an autonomous body unaffected by the functioning of the state government.
“His promise is one which undermines the authority of the Central autonomy of the University. The state government does not govern Delhi University. The Central government does. Pressure, thus, will not really have an effect.”
DU professor P K Vijayan said the Birla Ambani report on Higher Education, under which the four-year programme is enlisted, is beyond the purview of the state government. “The state government can’t change this system, let alone a solitary candidate,” he said.
(The reporter is a student of EXIMS)