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Delhi University admission confusion persists, students left in limbo

New Delhi: The confusion over the admission process in Delhi University continued for the third day Thursday with students and parents from all over India and abroad bearing the brunt, as the varsity said it has sent a fresh proposal to the UGC to restore the three-year undergraduate course, with a few amendments in the controversial four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP).

As the ongoing faceoff between the University Grants Commission (UGC) and DU continued, a delegation of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) - the students wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) - called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is known to have expressed unhappiness over the deadlock between the two bodies.

With no clarity on the rollback of the FYUP, various student groups continued their agitation Thursday, with some students being detained as they wanted to meet President Pranab Mukherjee, who is the visitor of the university.

Replying to the letter sent by UGC Wednesday night to begin admissions immediately, DU Thursday sent a "blended proposal" in which it suggested to the commission that it would give a three-year honours degree, but retain the foundation courses for the first year students.

DU is awaiting a response from the commission on its proposal.

"Today (Thursday), we have sent the blended proposal to the UGC and are waiting for their response. The proposal draws on some already existing and approved courses with supplement courses that existed under the earlier undergraduate semester programme," the university's media coordinator Malay Neerav told the press.

"We also want the admissions to start soon. If the UGC accepts the proposal, then with further approval from the statutory bodies (academic and executive council), admissions can begin soon," he said.

This is the first time DU has communicated to the UGC.

DU's proposal was prepared by a 20-member group of academics Wednesday. The group had submitted these suggestions to DU Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh with an aim to end the ongoing impasse between the two bodies.

However, in a letter sent to the UGC Secretary Jaspal Singh Sandhu, the university also noted that reverting to the three-year course will take "substantial time".

This was in response to Wednesday's directive of the UGC to start admissions under the three-year course immediately.

But for parents and students, it was a harrowing wait for admissions to the prestigious and oldest university in the country.

Manu Sharma, mother of an aspirant, said: "I hope the admissions process begin soon. People like us cannot afford private universities, and so we are dependent entirely on DU."

"We are the ones who are suffering. No one is thinking about us," Sharma told IANS.

The university, in its proposal to the UGC, said it would be giving an honours degree to students under the three-year undergraduate programme.

It, however, added that the foundation courses (language, literature and creativity, history and culture, science and life, building mathematical ability) introduced under the FYUP would remain for the first year students.

To the relief of B.Tech students, the proposal mentions that the B.Tech course may be left untouched.

Neerav added that popular courses like B.A., B.Sc. and B.Com. pass, will not be brought back so there would be no need for fresh registrations.

But the teachers association, who have been vocally against FYUP, said DU's fresh proposal is a way by the university to "muddle the admission process" and lacks "academic merit".

One of the principals said all the colleges have agreed to start admissions, but are awaiting the directive from DU. Around 2.7 lakh applicants have applied for admissions to 54,000 seats this year.

The row has halted admissions to 64 of DU's 78 affiliated colleges.

"I don't know what the university is up to. Why are they playing with our future," Inderpreet Kaur, an aspirant, told IANS.

Shikhar Manandhar from Nepal told IANS: "We are totally confused. We have come from so far off for admission. But there is no word."

The admissions were to begin Tuesday but were suspended after the UGC, a statutory body of the government to coordinate and maintain the standards of university education in India, told the vice chancellor to scrap the FYUP. But the vice chancellor has maintained silence on the subject. With no clarity on the topic, admissions have been stalled.

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