ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Degrees of Desperation

Delhi University's secretive rush to reform curricula does not augur well for the institution.

The comprehensive overhaul of its undergraduate programme being proposed by Delhi University (DU) could have been a bold and innovative step. As a major institution in mainstream higher education, DU is well placed to be a trendsetter. Many of its undergraduate programmes in the basic sciences, social sciences and humanities are well-recognised for their excellence. But the manner in which reform is being implemented seems likely to tarnish this hard-won reputation.

The university has proposed that a four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) will replace all existing undergraduate courses. The FYUP will be an integrated programme with a single curriculum but with three different degree options and “exit points”: an Associate Baccalaureate in two years, a Baccalaureate in three years and a Baccalaureate with Honours in four years. The curriculum includes six types of course – 11 mandatory “Foundation Courses”, 20 courses in “Discipline 1” or the “major” chosen by the student, six courses in “Discipline 2” or the “minor”, five “Application” courses, six courses on “Cultural Activities”, and two (non-credit) courses titled “Integrating Mind, Body, Heart”. Thus, the new undergraduate programme offers a total of 30 discipline-specific courses and 20 common ones to be taken by all students for two, three and four-year degrees.

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