Seema Das, faculty, Political Science, Hindu College, Delhi University, feels that the academic rigour of the three-year bachelor programme would be considerably diluted with the deletion of four core/major papers. “Reduction in core papers would not allow a graduating student to master the respective subject,” says Das.
“There is a strong probability that a few disciplines would be preferred while choosing minor subjects/papers. This may lead to the complete elimination of a few subjects, which will make the teachers redundant. This may be contrary to the spirit of the NEP,” says Rajesh Jha, faculty, Political Science, Rajdhani College.
Introduced in 2014, FYUP was criticised for its structure where the degree awarded was dependent on when the student dropped out of the course. Dropping out after one year would mean a certificate, at the end of the second year would mean a diploma and at the end of the third year would be the current BA/BSC programme.
Students would need to sit through the entire four years to get an honours degree, which will be research-based. Delhi University teachers feel this would undermine the quality of education. “Since there is an option of exit, there will be a mass exodus from college after the third year,” says Das.
The move will also increase the workload on teachers as there will be unequal distribution of work and seasonal unemployment for a few teachers.
Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) president Rajib Ray says, “The new structure will burden the teachers, especially those who are yet to be permanent.” This will dilute standards of the courses which will be detrimental for students, adds Ray.
Under FYUP, the fourth year is slotted for research. Teachers are worried about the increased expenses and unnecessary hardship put on the students. “The government is trying to bring in a research component by adding a fourth year. It should be known that the research output of UG students at the global level is less than 1% every year, and is not top-notch work,” says Sachin N, faculty, Literature, Dayal Singh College.
Sachin deplores the new education policy saying that research at UG level is an elite concept in a country where education is not universal. “These are tall claims by the government of hoodwinking people to believe that this is going to be a panacea and resolve problems related to higher education.”
Babli Moitra Saraf, principal, Indraprastha College, hopes FYUP to be beneficial to female and EWS students. “The biggest advantage here is multiple entry-exit options. Students, particularly girls, who are forced to drop out because of economic or social reasons can rejoin as per their convenience.”