Why Is Delhi University Treating Us As Lab Rats? – Reflections From An FYUP Student

Posted on June 9, 2014 in Education

By Aanchal Khulbe:

I entered DU as a nervous yet happy kid. The Delhi University was my dream, had always been. Needless to say, I had pictured a perfect movie out of my future. The reality, however, turned out to be nothing like this. I got the college I desired as well as the course. However, the future started getting hazy by the day, losing out in the mist. This was because of the new, apparently “reformed” form of the system, which was thrust upon our shoulders without advice, dialogue or reforms from students, teachers or parents. True, we were aware of its implementation while we filled the forms for the university but we were not aware of the quality of it. Not that it makes sense as a whole anyway, only that this system, if been given the appropriate administration and attention to, might be able to yield a good result, but certainly not in the form that it exists today. Even if one student graduates with a poor quality of education from a Central university then the topic is up for debate, and here we are talking about an entire batch of more than 55,000 students. The lives of a large mass of students are at stake here, and this is no joke. Therefore, there is no question to give in to the dictatorship of one man, namely the Vice Chancellor Mr. Dinesh Singh, only to risk the careers of so many students.


The Four Year Undergraduate Program, or FYUP, is a pointless, incompetent and impotent system of education. I have broadly enlisted its characteristics in the following points, and the way it effects each student’s life, although there is still more.

  • The course content and structure: Firstly, there is a marginal difference in the syllabus of the main courses in the three year undergraduate course and FYUP. The main course is heavily diluted and contaminated with baseless foundation courses which do not contribute anything to a person’s development. The justification that it can boost employability or a decent UPSC score is completely vague. Believe me, you do not want to indulge in the amount of crap that these extra course have in store for us. All of these are compulsory courses, there is no choice among them.
  • This also means that the student who has graduated from the FYUP is not at par with the student who graduated an year earlier from the same university with the same course. The former has relatively very less knowledge of their subject and therefore does not stand a chance for employment or admission into colleges. Where the basic bait given to the students was an increased opportunity of employment, this system is only working towards the reverse.
  • Nobody has an extra year to waste in their lives, and waste to pointless courses which caught the fancy of their University’s Vice Chancellor and one fine morning he decided to implement it. An extra year of graduation means an exta year of expenditure.
  • FYUP is clearly marked by an immensely poor system of administration, because there had been no time for its preparation. The teachers were given a one month notice for the compilation of the syllabus of the Foundation Courses. There is no proper infrastructure, resources or teachers for the introduction of FYUP. There was already a shortage of 4,000 teachers in DU and at the heart of dearth, FYUP was launched!
  • The funds provided for an increase in OBC reservation were all used up to buy laptops for the students in the FYUP.
  • The greatest crisis is that in the year 2017, two batches will together pass out, which means a double number of students for jobs and admissions. This, if the FYUP is removed from the batch of 2013.

Sounds like a joke, right? For some, it almost is.

DU has seen an immense uproar on the issue and various protests have been organized by various organizations on this issue. Leading this call for change, the All India Students’ Association conducted a student referendum and the response was clear – they want it removed. This incessant stipulation from students and student unions forced the BJP and the AAP to include the agenda to remove FYUP in their respective manifestos. Once the BJP came into power and Mrs. Smriti Irani was appointed the HRD Minister, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association, along with a few students’ unions, knocked at her door for the delivery of their promise. Meanwhile, the Education Secretary invited the DU VC to convince him on the prospects of FYUP. The Education Secretary refused the baseless claims made by the VC and announced himself unconvinced.

Smriti Irani furiously called up the VC to fulfill his obligation to the students and teachers of the University by at least showing up on being asked for. A flustered VC dismissed the topic and diverted the debate to the absentee teachers and other useless arguments which were off the topic.

There is sublime hope that the university might get rid of this system, but the question is, what about the first batch of FYUP? Will they waste an year stuck in the useless system?

The Delhi University that I dreamt of is not so glorious afterall, I learnt. Me and many others like me have no one to complain to. We entered the university as hopeful aspirants, but have ended up as the guinea-pigs.