Indian Campus

JK Rowling, Chetan Bhagat are now part of DU’s popular fiction elective course

The new syllabus for courses by the English Department was passed by the committee of courses last week. This will be sent to the academic and executive council for a final nod.

Delhi university students who opt for the popular fiction elective course will now study Chetan Bhagat’s first novel Five Point Someone and J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone during undergraduate studies.

The new syllabus for courses by the English Department was passed by the committee of courses last week. This will be sent to the academic and executive council for a final nod.Other texts included in the course are Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.

Popular fiction is part of the general elective pool, of which Honours students have to select any four. Programme students have to select two of these.

The last time the syllabus was changed was when the four-year undergraduate programme was introduced, which was later scrapped. The new syllabus is part of the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS). After the introduction of CBCS, students from other courses are also supposed to choose elective subjects.

The move to include these titles in popular fiction has gathered criticism already, with some saying they are too ‘light’ for undergraduate students.

Teachers in the English department, however, defended the decision. “Instead of having students struggle with works that are far removed from their life experiences, it’s eminently more rewarding for them to grapple with writers who raise contemporary social issues and concerns. I say this with a caveat though: How can you remove Amitav Ghosh and Tagore’s landmark novels and introduce Mr Bhagat?” said Debraj Mookerjee, who teaches English at Ramjas College.

Ghosh’s Shadow Lines and Tagore’s Ghare Baire were removed from the syllabus two years ago when CBCS was introduced. Other teachers also said the inclusion is not a bad idea. “Introducing the texts gives an entry point for contrast with other ‘popular’ works and critique of what constitutes popularity,” said Sanam Khanna, who teaches at Kamla Nehru College.

SOURCE: THE INDIAN EXPRESS