The year 2014 witnessed many controversies on the education front. It began with the demand for scrapping of the four-year-undergraduate programme introduced by Delhi University. In fact, the FYUP issue took a political turn with BJP highlighting it in its election manifesto and Aam Aadmi Party expressing its opposition to the programme. When the former returned to power at the Centre, it sounded death knell for the pet-project of vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh. Finally on June 27, Singh announced the roll-back of the four-year degree course.
The university faced further embarrassment with the paper controversy. The question paper for the fifth semester financial management course under School of Open Leaning was a repeat of May 2014 paper. This was followed by more goofups like introducing out-of-syllabus questions, leading to cancellation of Hindi paper. These had raised questions over the exam reforms introduced from the 2011-12 academic calendar.
Even at nursery level, there were many developments. Following a series of court cases, the lieutenant governor was entrusted with deciding admission guidelines. While his order dated December 18, 2013, was welcomed by parents, it dealt a big blow to schools. It abolished the management quota and the neighbourhood factor was given priority. The order clearly stated that only 5% staff quota will be allowed. In case the seats of the wards in the staff quota remained vacant, it would be open to the usual candidates. While 5% quota was reserved for girls in coed schools, 25% seats were reserved for students falling in the category of economically weaker section (EWS) and disadvantaged groups.
The various court cases resulted in several stays and two rounds of draws. Interstate transfer was dropped from the guidelines and then restored. The LG’s order had also enforced EWS reservation in minority institutions— based on lease deed agreements and not the Right to Education Act. The minority schools also moved the court and got themselves exempted from the guidelines altogether.
Finally, one of the court cases filed by two school associations won them the autonomy to decide their own criteria and points distribution systems this year.