HC to hear plea against DU’s 4-year undergraduate programme

New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday will hear a PIL challenging the implementation of University of Delhi’s proposed four-year under-graduate programme with multiple degrees in its present form.

The public interest litigation which is listed for hearing before a division bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath, said that the proposed course, if introduced in present form, will cause “irreparable loss” to students with impaired vision.

DU is to implement the four-year under-graduate programme in next academic session in July this year.

The PIL filed by an NGO Sambhavana, which works for the welfare of disabled students, through counsel Pankaj Sinha, said: “If the four-year under-graduate programme with multiple degree is introduced in present form, the student with vision impairment will suffer irreparable loss as they shall not be able to participate in the mainstream education system.”

The plea said that when the recommendations for the curriculum of programme were made, the same were being considered in the meeting of DU’s Academic Council (AC) and were approved by the Executive Council but the concerns of the visual impaired were not taken into consideration by them.

“Students with visual impairment are purely exempted from studying science and maths after class 8 in same cases and after class 10 in most of the cases. In case the existing approved programme is implemented, such students shall not be able to meet the requirements of the foundation course in the first year of the four-year under-graduate programme which contains a bouquet of 11 courses including Building Mathematical Ability and Science and Life as mandatory.”

It asked the court to direct the DU to introduce a “bridge course programme” for maths and science for the students with vision impairment so that they can also be given a level-playing field to pursue the foundation course as prescribed in the first year.

The petition said: “A large number of students with vision impairment seek admission in Delhi University every year. They cannot be deprived of studying the foundation course on an equal basis with other students. Therefore, a provision of the bridge course should be followed by the foundation course in second year of the said programme.”

“The four years under graduate programme with multiple degree does not take into consideration the concern of the students with vision impairment, therefore, the same is arbitrary and illegal, hence discriminatory.”

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