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After Changes in DU's 'Controversial' Course Content, Demand Rises for More Changes

File photo of Delhi University.

File photo of Delhi University.

On July 17, a decision was made to remove the content on — Muzaffarnagar and Gujarat riots and modify the course of 'Interrogating Queerness'.

New Delhi: The modifications made by the English department of Delhi University – by removing riots and gods from the course – has led to the demand for more changes by the same group – National Democratic Teachers Front, DU.

The head of the department (English), Raj Kumar earlier told News18.com that changes were being made in the course to avoid controversy as the academics didn’t intend to hurt sentiments.

Now ahead of the Executive Council meeting of Delhi University on Sunday, the Delhi University teachers are up in arms against further modifications being proposed.

One of the academic, also a member of Academic Council, Saikat Ghosh issued a statement saying, “Despite complying with all the syllabus modifications required by the Delhi University's Undergraduate Curriculum Revision Committee, and removing the texts that the NDTF had raised objections to, the UGCRC has yet again sent another long list of further required modifications to the English Department.”

The department that is reeling under the objections-and-correction scenario is Delhi University’s English department. This is the only DU department that ranked among the best in the QS World University Rankings.

On July 17, 2019 the decision was made to remove the content on — Muzaffarnagar and Gujarat riots and modify the course of “Interrogating Queerness”, as per the objections raised by in the Academic Council meeting by the representatives of National Democratic Teachers Front.

On July 18, 2019 Rasal Singh and other teachers associated with NDTF and students with ABVP students sent a letter to the Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi saying that e changes made are cosmetic.

The letter to the VC that Singh shared at the time of the EC meet today said that though they are relieved to notice that the council took cognizance of “some serious concerns”, “all these syllabi including the course in English needs to be comprehensively reviewed by including more teachers in the exercise. Any piecemeal, hasty and superficial approach on such important academic matters will not find any support in the University,” read the letter.

According to them, some teachers approached NDTF with “serious apprehensions on the PG syllabus of Chemistry”.

Demanding that in view of the above, Singh wrote to VC, “All the syllabi sent back to their respective departments must be comprehensively reviewed. Further, revised syllabi of these courses must then be placed in the Academic Council for discussion and approval. We firmly believe that bypassing any of the laid down procedures will not help in strengthening the academic health and functioning of this premier University.”

Ghosh in a statement called these required modifications “absurd” and were being “listed in order to make a mockery of the efforts of teachers (from approx. 50 DU colleges) who have worked hard for two years with the hope that DU will eventually be able to give its English students a syllabus that is genuinely at par with the best in the world.”

The statement has condemned “RSS- backed NDTF and ABVP”, who have single-mindedly tried to kill this hope and scuttle the English syllabus, which has received a fabulous feedback.

Ghosh said, The NDTF and ABVP may be successful in their nefarious agenda tomorrow because they are more powerful than the university. Academic arguments are not being heard. The University is following their diktats.”
first published:July 20, 2019, 15:27 IST