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In a hasty bid to introduce an innovation cluster, Delhi University may have landed in trouble. The proposal paper seeking clearance for DU's cluster innovation centre has sparked controversy. To be placed at the special academic council (AC) and executive council (EC) meeting on Saturday, it has no information on the committee and the curriculum developed for the four-year innovation course.
What's worse, the text for the introduction of the course seems to be a patchwork job. It has been alleged that paras have been lifted from websites of various foreign universities. The AC members are wondering why the university is calling an emergency meeting for a regular issue while EC members say DU is violating the University Act by establishing the centre in this hurried manner. Pages 5 and 6 of the paper (Proposed syllabus for B.Tech/BS Innovation with mathematics and IT) contain the introduction of the course. In the introduction, the paragraph "With a distinguished history... cutting-edge research and innovation" has been allegedly lifted from University of Manchester's website which states "With a distinguished history of academic achievement and an ambitious agenda for the future, The University of Manchester offers a learning experience rooted in a rich educational heritage and boosted by cutting-edge research and innovation...". The sentence "Mathematics is central to everyday life and ... business and industry" is straight out of University of Edinburgh's write-up on why choose mathematics which says, "Mathematics is central to everyday life and to the way we see the world. It is an intellectual adventure in its own right but it is also used to understand the physical world - from black holes to global warming - and to find solutions to problems in business and industry ." Most of the material on pages 5 and 6 has been lifted from University College's ( London) website. AC members are questioning the manner in which the university is pushing for establishing the centre . Abha Dev Habib, AC member, said: "What is the hurry in commencing the course? There has been no consultation on the four-year course and there is no clarity on the admission plan. Moreover, the advisory committee and the governing body are the same. If this is a way to grab UGC's money, it is very unfortunate." While academicians are criticizing DU's move, EC members are calling it a violation of the University Act. Stating that setting up a universityrun institute needs prior approval of the visitor (President of India), they say the first draft before finalizing the course should have come from the AC or one of its committees. "A new institute can come up only after the statute is made and the visitor's approval received . In this case it is a violation. ," said elected EC member Rajib Ray.
Courtesy: Times of India
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