Efforts to persuade the new HRD Minister Smriti Irani to scrap the four-year undergraduate programme of Delhi University today gained momentum with members of a teachers body making a representation to her, arguing the course was in violation of laws and UGC norms.
The meeting between representatives of National Democratic Teachers' Front (NDTF) and Irani came close on the heels of a delegation of students and teachers meeting her with the demand for scrapping the controversial programme.
"The minister said she would seriously examine their demands," said founding member of NDTF Inder Mohan Kapahi.
During her interaction with the previous delegation, the minister had also assured that she would re-look into the running of the course.
Kapahi dismissed suggestion that the Ministry could do little to intervene on the issue as Delhi University enjoyed autonomous status.
He said the autonomy was only to decide the content of the academic course and not the duration of the academic programmes.
"In the name of autonomy, the university cannot ride roughshod over the Parliament approved policy of 10 plus 2 plus 3 and replace it with 10 plus 2 plus 2/3/4 scheme.
"Besides Delhi University in isolation from other central and state universities cannot take a unilateral decision to implement any scheme in violation of UGC norms," the representation made by NDTF said.
It said an additional year for graduation puts additional burden on the students and parents. This may discourage students coming from economically weaker section to seek admission in DU.
The four-year education programme had kicked up a massive controversy last year with several political parties also joining the students in their protest and making representations to the Prime Minister also.
Students bodies like All India Students Association, All India Democratic Student Organisation and Delhi University Teachers' Association have already met the Minister, demanding a roll back of the programme.