On September 21st, Principal Pawan K Sharma, Dyal Singh Evening College received a notification from the Executive Council stating the approval for the evening college to become a morning college. The decision to rename the college is being opposed by the government.
In a meeting held in November, the Governing Body of Dyal Singh College decided to rename the evening college to Vande Mataram Mahavidyalaya once it is converted to a full-time morning college. This decision was taken into consideration due to the fact that Dyal Singh College (morning) already exists and the first evening college in University of Delhi set up in 1958, i.e, Dyal Singh College (evening) will have to be renamed.
On Tuesday, Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister, Prakash Javedekar informed the Upper House of the Parliament of India that the decision to change the name of Dyal Singh College (evening) has been put on hold. This issue had been raised in the Zero Hour of Rajya Sabha, where Naresh Gujral, a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party politician, representing the state of Punjab in Rajya Sabha stressed that even though the name “Vande Mataram” does evoke patriotism among the public, the decision to change the name of a minority institution is a direct assault on the feelings of Sikhs. He also branded this decision to be unfortunate and condemned it. In his speech, he called for the managing committee to be replaced instantaneously. “Majithia had sacrificed his life and possessions to improve the state of education in the country. He had set up several schools and colleges, including one in Lahore”, Gujral said.
The college has been named after Sardar Dyal Singh Manjithia, the first freedom fighter of Punjab, founder of The Tribune and Punjab National Bank. Manjithia set up an education trust in 1895 to help set up a “true secular college” which helped lay the foundation of Dyal Singh College in Delhi University.
In response to this issue raised by Naresh Gujral, HRD Minister Prakash Javedekar emphasised that the decision to change the name of the college had not been taken by the government and that the Centre does not approve of it. He said that they have asked that the decision should be withheld forthwith, and an immediate meeting must be convened about this pressing matter. The minister added that Delhi University has been informed about the same.
Image Credits: Hindustan Times