Delhi University's Four-year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP)
Delhi University launched its much debated four-year graduate programme (FYUP) from the academic year 2013 - 2014. Modelled on the American undergraduate system, the programme introduces a four-year undergraduate course based on semesters. Before we examine how this new structure can benefit the educational system and most importantly, the students, we must look at the previous structure. Up until the academic year of 2012 to 2013, DU offered the conventional three-year bachelor's degree. You could choose an honours course in order to specialize in your particular subject. Or you could choose a pass course, where primary studies would be mixed with other interdisciplinary courses.
The Delhi University four-year undergraduate programme has introduced four course types for every discipline. The major courses have been classified under the category Discipline Courses - I, while the minor courses have been classified under Discipline Courses - II.
In the course of typically four years, the student selects a major course (DC-I), two minor courses (DC-II) and four applied courses (AC). In addition, students study the mandatory 11 foundation courses (FC) during their first and second year. Students will also have to do one Integrating Mind Body and Heart (IMBH)/ Cultural Activities (CA) course in each semester.
Exit options in DU's FYUP
Another significant aspect is the exit options that the four year undergraduate programme offers to students. This aspect has been hailed both as a weakness and a strength by critics from the opposing teams. Once a student joins the programme, he can proceed from one semester to the other even if they have failed in some subjects. However, they will get a degree only if they achieve 40 percent aggregate marks finally. A student has the option to prop out of the programme after the second or third year or graduate after completing all the four years:
If a student leaves after three years then they will get a Bachelors in discipline 1. Such students will be at par with other graduates in the country who have completed a three year undergraduate course. They are eligible to sit for MA entrance exams as well as the civil services examinations. They will have to pursue a a two-year Masters degree if they wish to go for post graduation.
On the completion of all four years, the students will be awarded a Bachelors with honours degree/ B.Tech degree. These students have the option of completing their Masters in only one year (provided it is pursued from DU's departments.) They can also pursue their Masters in their minor subject if they have studied all the six papers of that subject.
The number of courses completed would vary depending on whether you're acquiring a diploma, a bachelors degree or a bachelors with honours degree:
Foundation Courses (compulsory)
Discipline I (Core subject / ‘major’)
Discipline II (Second subject / ‘minor’)
Integrating Mind, Body Heart / Cultural Activities Courses (NCC, Sports, NSS)
2 Year Diploma
3 Year Bachelor degree
4 Year Bachelor (Hons) degree
*ALC - Applied Language Course (Arabic, Bengali, English, Hindi, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Urdu)
The various courses which will be on offer under the FYUP for academic year 2014-15 are (listed faculty-wise):
Faculty of Arts
Buddhist Studies (DC-II Courses)
Germanic & Romance Studies:French|German|Italian|Spanish
Linguistics (DC-II Courses)
Modern Indian Languages & Literary Studies:
- Assamese (DC-II Courses)
- Gujarati (DC-II Courses)
- Manipuri (DC-II Courses)
- Marathi (DC-II Courses)
- Odia (DC-II Courses)
- Sindhi (DC-II Courses)
- Tamil (DC-II Courses)
- Telugu (DC-II Courses)
Faculty of Science
- Development Communication & Extension (DC-II Courses)
- Fabric & Apparel Science (DC-II Courses)
- Food & Nutrition (DC-II Courses)
- Human Development & Child Studies (DC-II Courses)
- Resource Management & Design Application (DC-II Courses)
Polymer Science (B.Tech)
Physics & Astrophysics
Faculty of Mathematical Science
Computer Science (B.Tech.)
Operational Research (DC-II Courses)
Faculty of Social Sciences
Adult Continuing Education & Extension (DC-II Courses)
African Studies (DC-II Courses)
East Asian Studies (DC-II Courses)
Faculty of Inter-disciplinary & Applied Sciences
Electronic Science (B.Tech)
Food Technology (B.Tech)
Physical Education & Sports Sciences
Faculty of Applied Social Science & Humanities
Journalism and Mass Communication
Faculty of Commerce & Business Studies
Faculty of Management Studies
Management Studies (DC-I & Applied Courses)
- Management of Global Business (DC-II Courses)
- Finance Management (DC-II Courses)
- Human Resource Management (DC-II Courses)
- Management of Services (DC-II Courses)
- Marketing (DC-II Courses)
- Tourism Management (DC-II Courses)
Faculty of Music & Fine Arts
- Hindustani Music
- Karnatak Music
- Percussion Music
The aim of the foundation courses is to help a student comprehend the challenges faced by India and to equip him with baisc IT, mathematics and other important skills. The compulsory foundation courses (FC) include:
1.Language, Literature, and Creativity -I (Hindi/MIL/Sanskrit/Arabic/Persian/Indian Literature)
2. Language, Literature, and Creativity -II (English),
3. Information Technology
4. Business, Entrepreneurship, and Management
5. Science and Life
5. History of Science (for Visually Impaired students)
6. Indian History and Culture
7. Building Mathematical Ability
7. Mathematical Awareness (for Visually Impaired students)
8. Governance and Citizenship
9. Philosophy, Psychology, Communication and Life Skills
10. Geographic and Socio-Economic Diversity
11. Environment and Public Health
Course distribution and weightage
The four years of the course are to be equally divided into eight semesters, which would cumulatively cover a total of 50 papers.
In the first year, or the first two semesters, the student will select their major course which would carry 33 percent of the total weightage in the semester-end exams. The rest of the marks, i.e., 67 percent, will be made up by foundation courses. There will be a total of seven papers in the first semester out of which four will be foundation course (FC) papers, two will be major discipline course (DC-I) papers and one will be an integrating mind, body and heart course (IMBH). The number of foundation course (FC) papers will reduce to three in the second semester. Like its predecessor, this semester will also have two major discipline course (DC-I) papers and an integrating mind, body and heart course (IMBH). This semester will also have one applied course (AC) paper.
In the second year, or the third and fourth semester, both semesters will follow a uniform pattern of two foundation courses (FC) papers, two major discipline course (DC-I) papers, two minor discipline course (DC-II) papers and two applied course (AC) papers. The foundation courses will now be worth 34 percent, the major discipline courses will also be worth 34 percent, the minor discipline courses will be worth 16 percent and the applied courses will also be worth 16 percent. The foundation courses will finish after the end of the third and fourth semester.
In the third year, or the fifth and sixth semester, both semesters will follow uniform pattern of three major discipline course (DC-I) papers, one minor discipline course (DC-II) paper, one applied course (AC) paper and one cultural activities course (CA) paper. The majority of the weightage for these two semesters belongs to the major disciplinary course papers. They account for 60 percent of the total marks. The singular minor discipline course paper and applied course paper will each be worth 20 percent.
In the fourth year, or the seventh and eighth semester, both semesters will retain a like pattern of three major discipline course (DC-I) papers, one minor discipline course (DC-II) paper and one cultural activity course (CA) paper. The majority of the semester weightage rests on the major discipline course at 75 percent, the rest of the weightage, i.e., 25 percent, goes to the minor discipline course. These two final semesters will involve in-depth research including research methodology and project work.
Pros and cons of Delhi University's Four Year Undergraduate Programme
Ever since the Delhi University administration unveiled the four-year undergraduate program late last year, the debate over its pros and cons has raged over media and social interaction platforms. Many sides of the argument have been exposed in the media but the mystery still lingers. Set to be implemented in the academic year 2013 to 2014, the programme endorses a radical overhaul of the existing academic structure that will change the undergraduate academic landscape of the University.
At one end the current Vice Chancellor of DU, Dinesh Singh, backed by teachers involved in the framing of the course, is pitching the move as a transformation of the education system that will enhance the value of learning and increase employability. On the other end, many academicians, students and DU faculty members are opposing the suddenness of the plan, the seemingly diluted course structure and the radical change in it without involvement of many DU faculty members.
There are other voices which claim the move is meant to align the Indian education system with that of western universities. This would enable them to invest more easily and directly in the education system of the country. Irrespective of the facts, it seems the four-year program is here to stay. So, let's examine the advantages and shortfalls of this new system.
The new course structure makes several changes to the previously prevalent system, of which the most glaring are the addition of an extra year and the semesterization of the courses. All of these new features bring the college system in India very close to the American system, thus allowing for greater interactivity amongst the two. Students wishing to pursue their master's from foreign universities may now find it easier to access them, as the main bone of contention for them has always been the 10+2+3 format of the Indian schooling system. American college systems mandate a four-year undergraduate course for entry into their postgraduate courses and so now students could get admissions more easily. Also, foreign universities would be able to invest directly in the Indian education system.
While this may be a good development, it could pose problems later on. The influx of foreign universities may raise the cost of higher education significantly. This could result in students from lower economic strata being unable to opt for higher education. The inclusion of multiple exit points has also been hotly debated by the intellectual and academic community of the country. According to VC Dinesh Singh, nearly 30 percent of students drop out after the end of first year or second year, in which case they receive no qualification papers. With the new system, he argues, students dropping out after two years can still get a diploma degree and have more chance of getting employed. This system will also rid us of the honours and pass distinction within the undergraduation program followed until now and every student can have equal opportunity to get the honours degree. However, critics have argued that replacing the two tier honours and pass system with a three tier system is no fix. Also, this does nothing to curb the rate of dropouts but merely furnishes students with credentials.
In conclusion, the FYUP offers some advantages but also has some shortfalls. It would be premature to judge its effectiveness before it's implemented, so for now students must contend with this new system.
FYUP in news:
"Delhi University FYUP Guidance Pamphlet," University of Delhi, http://www.du.ac.in/fileadmin/DU/Events/APamphlet.pdf
"Delhi University FYUP Guidance Pamphlet," University of Delhi, http://www.du.ac.in/fileadmin/DU/Events/BPamphlet.pdf
"Guide to Foundation Courses," University of Delhi, http://web4.du.ac.in/FYUP/FoundationCourses.html
"India Edu News coverage of FYUP," India Edu News, http://indiaedunews.net/Delhi/Delhi_University_to_offer_4_year_honours_degree_from_2013_15959/
"India Today's coverage of FYUP," India Today, http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/du-teach-applied-courses-four-year-undergraduate-programs-prepeare-students-job-marketindia-today/1/273232.html
"Indian Express coverage of FYUP with inputs from DU VC Dinesh Singh," Indian Express, http://www.indianexpress.com/news/delhi-university-vc-makes-his-case-for-shift-to-fouryear-undergraduate-courses/1115524/2
"Major, Minor and Applied Courses at Delhi University," University of Delhi http://web4.du.ac.in/FYUP/dcourses.html