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DU: Row Over Suggestion to Drop Ambedkar From Philosophy Syllabus

A Standing Committee meeting for drafting a new syllabus under NEP has suggested dropping a course on B R Ambedkar.
Bombay HC deplores state’s inability to meet demand for Ambedkar’s writings and speeches, registers suo motu PIL

Delhi: The Department of Philosophy at the University of Delhi has objected strongly to the suggestion of dropping a course on Dr B R Ambedkar from the syllabus. In a standing committee meeting on Academic Matters, which took place on May 8, 2023, the pruning of the course on Ambedkar was suggested for drafting a new syllabus as per New Education Policy. 

The letter written by Department Head Keshava Kumar to Vice Chancellor Yogesh Singh, accessed by NewsClick, made the request to retain the course in the updated UGCF-NEP syllabus. 

DU: Row Over Suggestion to Drop Ambedkar From Philosophy Syllabus

The letter reads, “Standing Committee meeting was held on May 8, 2023, in which it was suggested that the DSE course ‘Philosophy of B R Ambedkar’ in BA Prog/Major offered by the Department of Philosophy in Semester V needs to be dropped. In light of this, the Department held a UGCC PGCC meeting on May 12, 2023, in which it was decided that the course (Philosophy of B R Ambedkar) should not be dropped.” 

It adds, “Dr B R Ambedkar is a seminal figure and indigenous thinker who represents the social aspirations of a majority of the people in the country. The course is a popular course and very helpful for research later as it will provide the right grounding for research on Dr B R Ambedkar. Moreover, it is not a compulsory paper. It is one of the optional papers. Furthermore, this course has been taught since 2015 in Delhi University (in both LOCF/CBCS formats). The course was introduced in 2015 and retained in 2019.”

Kumar said in the letter, “On behalf of the Department, this is to request you to let the course be retained in the UGCF-NEP syllabus.” 

The meeting minutes recorded the opposition and noted, “The committee discussed the Standing Committee suggestion that Philosophy of B R Ambedkar as a DSE-2 course be dropped. The PGCC-UGCC has strong reservations regarding this matter. The syllabus has been taught since 2015 as a part of LOC/CBCS in the name of Philosophical Thoughts of Ambedkar. Ambedkar is an indigenous thinker representative of the social aspiration of a majority of people in the country. Research is also rising on Ambedkar.”

The minutes further said, “This course will be helpful for grounding in Ambedkar studies. Therefore, it should not be dropped. Moreover, this is an optional course and students have enough choice[s].” 

The standing committee meeting on further proposals was underway on Tuesday. P Keshava Kumar told NewsClick that the details of the meeting would be available by the evening.

It is a developing story. The story will be further updated.

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