As these moves led Opposition parties to accuse the Ministry of embarking on a path to saffronise education, its Minister Smriti Irani retorted saying, if she "challenges status quo," controversy is bound to take wings.

"Those who accuse me of being a RSS mascot or RSS representative possibly want to deflect the attention from the good work that we have done... this agenda will be flagged.”

"I will be whipped for as long as there is a need to keep attention diverted away from the good work. I am ready for it. I have no problem," she said.

Irani announced a slew of programmes promoting girls education, providing free access to digital content, scholarship schemes and special focus on northeast students, but the row mostly generating off-campus shrouded such initiatives.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to students on Teacher's Day in September also generated a lot of heat especially from the Opposition amid reports of compulsory attendance in classes to listen to him.

Irani's education qualification too made headlines soon after she assumed charge in May. It took a new turn when she said at a function that she also has a degree from the prestigious Yale University in US, a statement which she later said was "misconstrued".

Under pressure from UGC to act on its directive, Delhi University on June 27 scrapped its controversial four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) and reverted back to the previous three-year structure.

Hardening its stand, UGC days earlier asked Delhi University and its colleges to admit students only under the three-year programme and not FYUP, a move hailed by both teachers' and students' bodies who made several representations to Irani in this regard.

Latest News from India News Desk