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DU's Plan to Include Chetan Bhagat Books in Syllabus Put on Hold After Backlash

The CBCS committee had also recommended making Facebook post writing part of a course on "academic writing".

PTI

Updated:September 24, 2017, 5:10 PM IST
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DU's Plan to Include Chetan Bhagat Books in Syllabus Put on Hold After Backlash
A file photo of Chetan Bhagat.
New Delhi: The proposal by Delhi University's English department to include author Chetan Bhagat's novels in the literature curriculum and introduce a course on writing Facebook posts has hit a roadblock following opposition from teachers of various colleges. The university also cited the backlash on social media for the decision.

The university has decided to put the proposal on hold and formed a review committee to recommend if it can be taken up in the next academic session.

"It was felt that there is arbitrariness in framing and modification of the syllabus. It has also come to light that the department has been in practice of favouring some authors and publishers, even by going out of the way of normal practice and justification," read the minutes of the meeting in which the panel was formed.

"It seems through the reactions which came after the proposal that all of a sudden one big change has been made in the undergraduate English course -introduction of Chetan Bhagat's Five Point Someone in the popular fiction paper of the syllabus. National dailies did considerable reporting on the issue, Twitter was 'shocked' by the news and Facebook and WhatsApp were no behind with comments and counter comments on the story," the minutes added.

Bestselling author Chetan Bhagat had announced on Twitter in April that his book had been included in the DU curriculum. DU had confirmed that the department was considering the proposal made by the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) committee and that Bhagat's book would be taught along with fiction novels by American novelist and poet Louisa M Alcott, crime novelist Agatha Christie and Harry Potter writer J K Rowling.

The CBCS committee had also recommended making Facebook post writing part of a course on "academic writing".

Both moves had drawn sharp reactions from literature enthusiasts and various English teachers who argued whether they really counted as literature.

“The committee has been formed to look into procedural lapses in syllabi design and modification, who were the members of the CBCS committee, was there sufficient representation from colleges, were all members informed about the modification and their approval sought," a senior official of the English department told PTI.

"While the university has not set a deadline for the review committee but a modification, if any, is not happening in this academic session for sure."


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