Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Teacher's Dilemma ...

I always thought teaching was a noble profession...yet the events of the past few months are forcing me to wonder if that is true today. I read a letter written by a distinguished academician, Prof. K. L.Chopra, making an appeal to Shri. Tejendra Khanna, Ex. Chancellor of my University  (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi ) to look into the alleged lack of grievance redressal mechanism, protection of  people with charges of plagiarism, irregularity in recruitments and many other issues, blaming the Vice Chancellor for the situation.Yet the same person chose to overlook similar charges against his good friend, Vice Chancellor of another University when students, faculty , Alumni and other staff raised voice of dissent towards policy decisions and the conduct  of his friend.

And then you have University of Delhi, supposedly a democratic institution that forces the faculty to follow Four Year UnderGraduate Programme without adequate process of consultation.The administration is not to be blamed completely though. The attitude of confrontation rather than academic dialogue and discussion  shown by DUTA can force anyone to follow the path of authoritarianism. I am not in the position to comment on the merit of the  move yet what baffles me most is that the even though the Vice Chancellor kept talking about abolishing the current three-year course from 2013 and initiating the four-year undergraduate programme, there wasn't  any voice of dissent.Suddenly there was an outpour of voices of opposition .One thing is sure though , the Four Year Programme got started as teachers' associations had lost their credibility and no one took them seriously. The step to appoint an Advisory Committee to look into the implementation of the four year programme is a welcome step. Let us welcome the new initiative as we enter a new academic year. Even so we need to reflect on a few issues.

There are a few fundamental courses in the Engineering / Technology domain such as workshop and Engineering Drawing .B Tech has been introduced but workshop is not developed. As if this was not enough Delhi University also has in its list of Programmes B Tech Humanities and B Tech Psychology. What will be the career path of the students who pass out with such Degree ? What would happen to the students who come with a three year Degree Programme seeking admission in Postgraduate Programmes in University of Delhi ?  Let us hope some good sense prevails and we do not make a mockery of academics in the name of experimentation and innovation !

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