DU teacher ends hunger strike

New Delhi, June 8 (IANS) Prem Singh, a Delhi University teacher who undertook a hunger strike at Rajghat here seeking the withdrawal of the four-year undergraduate programme, has ended his fast.

The fast, which began Wednesday, concluded Friday evening.

Prem Singh pleaded with authorities to consider deferring the four-year undergraduate programme which is to begin at Delhi University this academic year.

A number of members from civil society of Delhi and teachers from the university supported the fast.

Vice president of Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA), Harish Khanna, opposing the four-year undergraduate programme, said that the members who are against the programme have appealed to the authorities and would continue to oppose the hasty implementation of the programme this year.

In a statement, Khanna said: “All the members against the four-year course have issued an appeal to the authorities and have also resolved that all efforts would be made to oppose the hasty implementation of the highly debated four-year undergraduate programme in DU this year.”

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has set up a five-member committee to track the progress of the programme and to suggest corrective measures.

Udit Raj, convenor of the Joint Action Front For Democratic Education, told IANS: “On the occasion of the end of his (Prem Singh) fast, we would appeal to the Vice Chancellor and President Pranab Mukherjee, the visitor of DU, to perform his duty as the supreme authority of the university and repair the damage already done by deferring it.”

DU changed its three-year undergraduate course to four years, despite stiff opposition from some of the well known teachers in the university.

The four-year programme to be started this year makes it compulsory for students to study 11 foundation courses during the first two years, clubbing together students who seek vocational education with those pursuing academic disciplines.

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