While the countrywide lockdown has brought many people together working from the comfort of their homes like never before, University of Delhi’s (DU’s) teachers behind in this because the University being unable to pay for online journals and portals.
While this might seem like a burning issue amidst the lockdown, it is rather the opposite. Allegedly, the University has failed to pay for many international journals of law, science, humanities, and economics since 2016. While these problems are generally not a big problem when colleges and libraries are functioning, they become a huge problem when both of them are not functioning, and online resources are the sources of learning and teaching.
While resources like SWAYAM are still available to the teachers and students, to maintain some routine with the syllabus and classes. According to many teachers, these are not sufficient and are not as good as National Library and Information Services Infrastructure for Scholarly Content which has peer-reviewed journals and e-books for university-level education or the ShodhShala.
Delhi University Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr. Yogesh Tyagi did not respond to calls and text messages from The Print inquiring about the unavailability of e-means. In conversation with The Print, Manoj Kumar, Assistant Professor at Satyawati College said, “The responsibility for the payment lies both with the College and the University, and both have shirked it.”
“Going online for teaching and learning as a part of the regular teaching process is fine, but once the entire system is shifted online, things become difficult,” said Rajesh Jha, a teacher at Deshbandhu College, in a conversation with The Print.
Retired DU Librarian D. V. Singh said, “I have been fighting for the availability of online resources ever since 2016 until my retirement in Mid-2019. The college was supposed to pay income to continue receiving access to international journals, but it could not be performed despite a variety of attempts,” while speaking to The Print.
Singh also informed that for the University to continue with the subscriptions they have previously enjoyed, they would need to pay a total sum of INR 5 crore annually. Amidst the 21-day lockdown, the teachers and the students both require these e-resources now more than ever to learn and teach, and for the research work for doctoral students as the University has instructed for all day-to-day activities to be continued via online mediums.
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