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DU plans on value-addition courses from academic year 2022-23. Details here

Delhi University has planned to introduce 24 value- addition courses from this academic year to develop critical thinking among students (HT_PRINT)Premium
Delhi University has planned to introduce 24 value- addition courses from this academic year to develop critical thinking among students (HT_PRINT)

Delhi University has planned to introduce 24 value- addition courses in its curriculum to develop critical thinking among students; courses include emotional intelligence, the art of being happy and Indian fiction among others

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Delhi University has planned to introduce plethora of new value-addition courses from the 2022-23 academic year as part of the Undergraduate Curriculum Framework-2022 (UGCF). Few topics include Emotional Intelligence, the Art of being happy and Indian fiction.

The aim of these new courses is to develop critical thinking among students. A resolution to introduce 24 similar courses similar nature has been approved in a recently held DU academic council meeting. Now the matter will be presented to the executive council that is the highest decision-making body of the university.

A student can opt for one or more such value-addition courses per semester.

The value-addition courses proposed have been prepared by the value addition course committee headed by professor Niranjan Kumar. Some of these courses are Emotional Intelligence, Art of Being Happy, Financial Literary and Ethics, Vedic Mathematics and Value of Indian Tradition System.

Speaking on the new value addition courses and their complaince with the New Education Policy (NEP), Kumar said, "The value addition courses have been designed keeping in mind the National Education Policy 2022. They have various components like critical thinking, compassion, teamwork, scientific temperament, Indian knowledge systems, ethical, cultural and constitutional values, and creative writing."

"This is the first time a prestigious university like the DU has introduced such courses. They will act as a game-changer in terms of social-building," he added.

As mentioned in the framework of NEP, credits gained through these courses will be added to the student's Academic Bank of Credits.

Beyond the ambit of academics, among the courses introducedm, there are few inspired by prominent campaigns initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi such as 'Fit India' and 'Swacch Bharat'.

Acknowledging the recent attention to mental health and coping with stress the Art of Being Happy will be a credit course that will include teaching ways to cope with stress. It will also encompass physiological and hormonal basis of happiness, factors of happiness and interpersonal relationship towards self-actualisation.

The Emotional Intelligence course is aimed towards making students more self aware. In its curriculum, students will gain insights into establishing positive relationships and discover personal competence and technique for building emotional intelligence, self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.

Transcending the boundaries of lived and read experiences and conflating the ideas of the two, the university will also introduce a course to acquaint students with Indian fiction in English where they will analyse novels critically and in the context of their own lived situations.

Through this course, students will learn about the understanding of Indian ethos and values through Indian fiction, develop creative thinking through the reading of fiction and realise the potential of fiction in bringing out social and cultural change.

On a counter view, several teachers at the university stated that value-addition courses under the Undergraduate Curriculum Framework (UGCF) will "discourage critical thinking". Seven academic council members issued a dissent note during the August 3 meeting.

Keeping their point of view, dissenting members asserted that these courses pay a lip service to the question of intellectual attitudes that need to be fostered in students, and also undermine the idea of India as a cosmopolitan site of cultural and philosophical interaction between people, languages and traditions.

"The myopic conception of VAC rubric is evidently an outcome of a centralised initiative that has excluded participation of teachers from all subjects. Hence, many disciplines have not found any representation," the teachers said in a statement.

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