Monday, June 23, 2014

FYUP Fracas at Delhi

The Four-Year Undergraduate Program (FYUP) introduced last year at the Delhi University has run into some serious trouble, triggered in part by NDA's thumping win in the recent Lok Sabha elections in Delhi, with the repeal of the program a key point in their agenda.

In the process of learning more about the issue, I found the following links useful.

  1. First Post has a summary of how DU finds itself in this mess.

  2. Business Insider - India also has a primer which goes into some of the specific issues flagged by teachers and students.

  3. A Telegraph story from two weeks ago seems to argue that DU's FYUP has some support among students who joined the program last year.

  4. The program also finds support among educationists, says this story in the Business Standard.

  5. The University Grants Commission has taken a tough stand, ordering DU to admit students this year only to the old three-year bachelor's program. And DU has responded by complying nominally to this order, but keeping the FYUP alive by giving the students an option to pursue an "honours" degree in their fourth year.

FYUP is what we have at IISc (and IIT-K as well, for its science degree programs). Prominent private universities such as the Shiv Nadar University appear to favor FYUP over its conventional three-year variant. So, I think FYUP, as an idea, is quite alive.

Overall, I have always been for the four-year degree program. On paper, DU's program has much to like: its curriculum features a a gen ed component (called "foundation" courses), encourages internships and undergraduate research, and offers exit options at the end of not just the third year with a bachelor's degree, but also at the end of the second year, with an associate degree.

Many of FYUP's troubles at DU appear to be due to the haste with which it was rammed through by Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh and his crew.

We will have to wait and see how this turbulent phase plays itself out at DU.


  1. Anonymous said...


    Right now, I am in a too much hurry to follow all the relevant links and thereby try and understand the arguments against a 4-year program.

    But, yes, as far as I am concerned, a 4-year program is what we should come to have all over India (and not just at DU).

    And, it's all the better if, as you noted in your previous post, there also are exits at the end of 2 years (a diploma-like option) and 3 years (a BSc degree).

    ... Also, together with a credits-based system, there must be a far more leeway to switch disciplines---rather, IMHO, we should completely do away with disciplines of graduation as such, and simply have areas of concentration, that's all. ... Some may want to it a major-minor kind of system, but I am of the opinion that, if the student is brilliant enough---and many of them in fact are (and not just at IITs and IISc etc.)---why not a major+major+minor+minor option? All in just four years?... Why not? ... Hmmm... Sort of like unleashing the "animal" spirits in education! (LOL!)

    Ok, I will browse the links later and be back if I have something to add.



  2. 123 said...

    Looks like some of the criticism of FYUP seems to be, at least in some corners, regarding the foundation courses and the exit options, as noted in this FP Op-Ed:

    Having been a postdoc at North American universities, I certainly think UG programs in India need to shift to a 4yr system with an entire semester dedicated to project work, especially in science streams. But things also need to be done in a more organized and consultative manner. And the right agency to undertake this task at all India level (and not just at one university) is the UGC. Otherwise the DU students might find themselves at a one year disadvantage in the jobs market. May be the foundation courses (which seems to offer "life lessons") could be offered in the 4th year before which students could choose to opt-out if they desire. Also this FYUP would be more meaningful if UGC does away with the requirement for a Master's degree as a qualification for PhD admissions.