Delhi University FYUP row: Students suffer, ask if they are guinea pigs

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New Delhi: With the fate of FYUP still in limbo, a group of Delhi University teachers and students in favour of the programme on Wednesday announced to continue their hunger strike for another 24 hours. Accusing the UGC of hatching a conspiracy to destroy the federal character of the Delhi University to serve “its political masters at the MHRD”, the protestors have demanded the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the impasse.

“We have unanimously decided to continue our hunger strike for another 24 hours with the hope that our Prime Minister steps in to save the autonomy of the DU and sanctity of his own vision,” said a press release issued by the protestors, mainly constituting DUTA and Academic Council members, on Wednesday.

The release which calls the UGC’s decision “an act of blatant illegality” mentions the affidavits issued by Ministry of Human Resource Development which recognises the autonomous character of the university and refuses to intervene. The affidavit, dated 23rd July 2013, says, “There is no ground or occasion for the Ministry to take an otherwise view of an academic issue like this.”

Meanwhile, students continue to suffer till the final decision is taken. “We got enrolled in the university’s B Tech programme last year, a course which may get scrapped anytime. Are we an experimental lot or guinea pigs for the university? Who will give us jobs if FYUP is rolled back?” asked Tripti, a B Tech (Electronics) student, outside the VC office, where the protest is being staged.

Expressing anger over the UGC’s act, two more B Tech students Sarthak and Amay said, “We chose DU over other institutes because of the low cost structure of the course. The same course will cost several times more in those institutes.”

Supporting the argument, Maharaja Agarsen College professor Dr TN Ojha said,” The crisis has been created by the UGC to please the corporate world which obtains hefty amount of money from students as fee.”Discussing the need for FYUP, he said, “The course has introduced sessions which help students interact and discuss issues with the students of other courses. It promotes skill-building among students and makes them capable of studying abroad.”

“Moreover, we were provided laptops under the FYUP, which helped us a lot in our studies. We are completely against the decision to roll back the programme.” added another student.

(The story first appeared on News 18.)

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