Lucknow: The Lucknow University in Uttar Pradesh is set to introduce the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act as part of its syllabus. The political science department of the university has submitted a proposal to bring the CAA and several other contemporary political issues, such as the scrapping of Article 370, under its choice-based optional course.
However, this has raised the hackles of opposition parties in the state, with Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati expressing annoyance on Twitter.
सीएए पर बहस आदि तो ठीक है लेकिन कोर्ट में इसपर सुनवाई जारी रहने के बावजूद लखनऊ विश्वविद्यालय द्वारा इस अतिविवादित व विभाजनकारी नागरिकता कानून को पाठ्यक्रम में शामिल करना पूरी तरह से गलत व अनुचित। बीएसपी इसका सख्त विरोध करती है तथा यूपी में सत्ता में आने पर इसे अवश्य वापस ले लेगी।
— Mayawati (@Mayawati) January 24, 2020
“It’s OK have a debate on the CAA, but the decision by the Lucknow University to include this ultra-controversial and divisive Citizenship Act in its curriculum is totally wrong and inappropriate, especially when the court (Supreme Court) is already hearing the case. The BSP is totally opposed to this move and will roll it back, if elected to power,” Mayawati said in her Twitter post in Hindi.
The students’ wing of the Samajwadi Party, the Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha, has also opposed this decision. Its state president Digvijay Singh Dev told ThePrint that they have been fighting against the CAA from the beginning, and will continue to do so.
“Lucknow University is doing all this under political pressure. Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma himself has been associated with the university in the past. There are several other persons in the government who are forcing their own agenda on the university,” Dev said.
Long process to be followed, says V-C
ThePrint has learnt that the political science department has proposed to include CAA, Article 370 etc under its Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). The subject will be named ‘contemporary issues in current politics’.
The university had discussed implementing the CBCS in its postgraduate and PhD courses, according to which the political science department has prepared the new syllabus. Another proposal under consideration is to have a debate among students on the CAA.
Lucknow University Vice-Chancellor Alok Kumar Rai told ThePrint that some local channels have termed it the ‘CAA course’, which is absolutely wrong.
“No such course has started. In fact, a department of the university has discussed a proposal to include such a subject that can teach students about contemporary political issues. Since CAA is the hot topic of discussion, there is just a proposal to include it in this subject,” Rai said.
“This proposal will now go to the board of studies, then to the academic council. Only then can it receive the go-ahead. Thus, it’s incorrect to say that we are starting a course on CAA,” he added.
CAA certificate course in another UP university
Meanwhile, the UP Rajarshi Tandon Open University (UPRTOU) has started a certificate course on the CAA.
Students will be taught about all aspects of the controversial new law.
University coordinator Prof. C.K. Singh had said at a press conference in Varanasi earlier this month that this would be a three-month certificate course, and that the cost for this would be Rs 500, to be collected as ‘form charge’. He had also said another certificate course would be started soon on Article 370.
According to Singh, the courses would be taught at more than 200 centres across the state that fall under the ambit of the UPRTOU.