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LU drops common minimum syllabus

LUCKNOW: Bowing to demands of teachers, Lucknow University authorities on Friday dropped its earlier directions to faculties on common minimum syllabus (CMS) and issued a fresh order asking departments to finalise their own syllabi by August 5.
The decision will impact over one lakh students in LU and its associated colleges.
The higher education department had drafted the CMS earlier this year. In April, it asked all the state universities to include 70% of its content in their syllabus for four-year undergraduate (UG) courses to be implemented in accordance with the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
However, in May, all LU departments rejected the CMS saying its inferior in quality and its imposition amounts to undermining the university’s autonomy, which in turn is against the spirit of the NEP. Teachers then went ahead and drafted a separate syllabus for LU.
But, on June 15, LU authorities issued a fresh order directing departments to adopt CMS within seven working days. LU Teachers Association (LUTA) then raised a banner of revolt against the order, describing it as a violation of the university’s autonomy guaranteed in the UP State Universities Act 1973.
LU Associated College Teachers also expressed reservation against the CMS on grounds that it was practically impossible for colleges to implement it in existing limited resources. Sources said that there was also a high level meeting between LU and state government officials on the issue on Thursday.
Consequently, on Friday LU registrar issued a fresh order asking all the departments to get their respective syllabus approved from academic bodies and send them to the LU authorities by August 5.
Welcoming LU’s Friday decision, teachers said that LU has already accepted the NEP recommendation on having a four-year UG course with multiple entry-exit options and vocational subjects. Further, they said, departments while drafting syllabus also kept in mind prime minister’s advice of covering local interests which he gave at LU’s centenary celebrations.
Vice-chancellor Prof Alok Kumar Rai said, “We have only asked the department to finalise the syllabus. Departments will decide which syllabus they want to adopt.”
“University is an autonomous body and only teachers hold the right to draft its syllabus as per the local demographic, social and economic needs. Surrendering this right would have meant compromising with our autonomy,” said LUTA president Prof Vineet Kumar Verma.

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