Delhi University: Concerns raised about NEP 2020 plan ahead of AC meeting

Delhi University Standing Committee members said that the NEP 2020 in its present form is ‘not fit for discussion’ at the Academic Council meeting scheduled on Tuesday.

Delhi University: Concerns raised about NEP 2020 plan ahead of AC meeting Delhi University (source: Wikimedia Commons)
Atul Krishna | Aug 23, 2021 - 7:36 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Three members of a 36-membered Standing Committee of Delhi University's Academic Council have raised concerns about the recommendations on implementing the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 in the university.

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The meeting of Standing Committee on Academic Matters has been ended. NEP structure of UG programme of DU was passed with dissents. Due to massive opposition, the agenda on Swayam and MOOCS has been deferred.

The NEP committee formed by Delhi University had submitted the “Recommendations of the NEP Implementation Committee on structure of UG Program of University of Delhi”. This document was in the meeting agenda of the Standing Committee held on Monday and will be presented before the AC tomorrow.

A section of the standing committee members said that the university authorities did not invite feedback on the policy before announcing the year of implementation. They called the NEP committee’s recommendation to implement the policy from 2022-23 ‘baseless’

“This document at this stage is not fit for discussion in the Academic Council and needs a major rehaul and that is possible only when it is sent for feedback from teachers in Committee of Courses and Staff Councils,” said a member of the Standing Committee. The NEP committee’s recommendations were uploaded on the DU website in February 2020.

Several teachers also raised voices against the recommendations on implementing NEP 2020.

“Following the line of political bosses for imposing NEP without any discussion in the Parliament, the university administration hurriedly rushing to impose NEP on DU and announced [it will] implement from 2022-23 without discussion in any statutory body like staff council/Departmental Council, AC and EC,” said Aditya Narayan Misra, former president of the Delhi University Teachers Association.

Some members said that there needs to be “detailed discussion” and “wider consultation” to determine whether NEP 2020 is feasible for Delhi University.

They also said that the new policy invites a “loss of workload”.

“Massive concerns were raised in today's meeting of the Standing Committee on Academic Matters regarding the loss of workload under the new proposed NEP structure,” said a member.

According to the members, the NEP committee recommendations allow students to earn credits for non-core courses such as electives and minors from other universities. Teachers said that this amounts to 57.14% of total credits to be earned in four years from outside DU, thereby “negatively impacting” the workload on teachers.

They also said that while the current structure allows four Discipline Specific Elective (DSE) for undergraduates by the third year while the structure proposed by the NEP committee allows the same amount of DSE subjects in four years for honours courses.

“This is absurd as it means that the student’s knowledge of honours subject after four years in the proposed structure will be exactly the same as that of a student after 3 years under the present structure of undergraduate syllabi,” said the academic council member.

The members questioned certain terms such as “interdisciplinary dissertation” proposed in the recommendations. According to them, it is “extremely difficult” to find interdisciplinary dissertation topic in two different disciplines, such as English literature and economics.

The members also questioned the “relevance” of awarding certificate after one year and diploma after two years as job prospects for these are unclear.

They also said that the adding a fourth year will put “additional burden” on physical infrastructure such as classrooms and labs.

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