Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone and J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will now be part of the popular fiction elective course in Delhi University. Bhagat’s debut novel will be part of the Popular Fiction paper in the General Elective, which is offered to Delhi University second-year undergraduate students pursuing honours and programme courses under the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS). According to the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS), DU students can study subjects from streams other than the one they are pursuing. Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women, Agatha Christie’s popular crime thriller Murder on the Orient Express is also included.

English students studying BA (honours) English won’t be taught these popular novels although the English department will be teaching them.

Chetan Bhagat’s novels although popular, haven’t exactly earned a lot of literary praise. His novels have been criticised for their poor grammar, weak plots and stereotyping communities.

The inclusion of Bhagat’s book has earned mixed reactions from teachers at DU. Some said it makes sense to include books students may have read and those that deal with contemporary issues, whereas one teacher told Hindustan Times:“There are other popular fictions available, why Bhagat? We have to see it in the context of his political leanings and stand on various issues.”

It’s not just Delhi University that has revamped their syllabus to include popular fiction. The Council of School Certificate Examination (CISCE) has prescribed popular novels such as J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Satyajit Ray’s Feluda and Herge’s beloved comic Tintin. These books will be part of the syllabus for junior and middle school students next year (2017-18).