CU decides to drop controversial parts of a value-added course

CU decides to drop controversial parts of a value-added course

Kolkata: After protests from a section of students and academicians, Calcutta University (CU) decided to drop the controversial section, “Jyotisa” (astrology), in a course titled ‘Indian Knowledge System and its Application’ mentioned under Common Value Added Course (CVAC).

The above-mentioned course is one of the six CVACs being offered by the university. Under its course module, the university stated that it will deal with “introduction of Vedas, Vedangas, Kalpa, Jyotisa, Purana, Itihasa and

their relevance”.

The six CVACs also included courses like Hands-on Machine Learning, Domestic Applications of Electronics, Occupational Health Disorders and the importance of Ergonomics, Lifestyle Diseases and their Prevention, and Value-Oriented Life Skill Education.

As per the syndicate meeting held on September 29, 2023, the syllabi of these six courses were approved. Under the four-year undergraduate programme being introduced in the university, the students will have to opt from any one from the list.

“These courses (CVAC) are based on Knowledge of Human & Social Values. There shall be 4 CVAC courses of 2 credits each. In the first semester, there shall be one compulsory CVAC in ENVS and one compulsory CVAC in Constitutional Values. In the second semester there shall be one compulsory CVAC in ENVS & the students shall select the other CVAC from a pool of courses,” the varsity had stated.

Following the inclusion of ‘Indian Knowledge System and its Application’, a rationalist organisation had reportedly written to the CU registrar Debasis Das seeking for the removal of the controversial part. On Tuesday, the College Street unit of CU Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad had also staged a demonstration against the inclusion of these chapters.

Reportedly, an emergency meeting was called by the CU and controversial parts were to be removed from the syllabus of the course.

An official stated that “Jyotisha” in Indian ancient history was more about astronomy than astrology. However, considering the criticism, the varsity authorities have decided to do away with the

controversial portions.

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