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DU Adds 4000 Seats, Colleges Struggle With Funds

With the additional pressure that online teaching and the pandemic is instilling on colleges, DU has now added 4000 seats while colleges lack funds.

With the addition of more seats under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category, the number of undergraduate seats open for admissions in Delhi University’s (DU) 51 colleges will be increased to 70,000 as compared to 66,000 in 2019.

Following the central government’s January 2019 directive asking all educational institutions to add supernumerary seats, the university had increased the number of seats from 55,000 in 2018, to a subsequent 66,000 last year.

Owing to this increase in the number of seats, each college will have to offer an addition of 150-200 seats which have laid out a series of challenges for them. With a shortage in the teaching faculty members and lack of infrastructure, a variety of issues have lined up for the colleges with the increase in intake. All these are coupled with the additional problems that DU is facing owing to online learning and the burden of the pandemic in general. Colleges would soon also have to plan for in-person classes, where social distancing norms would add to the set of these pre-existent problems.

For the opening of colleges, the college principals would also have to follow the health ministry guidelines for schools and colleges and provide social distancing measures including thermal scanners and other infrastructural advancements.

The ongoing Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) protests along with the lack of permanent faculty members are further adding to the problems colleges are facing. Many colleges solely have ad-hoc teachers with 4-month contracts. The amount for about 4500 teachers in DU. 

As declared by the government as compensation to implement the EWS category, many colleges are waiting for the additional funds that were promised to them. Many have extra buildings ready but no funds to manage the different branches.

The government’s claim about helping educational institutions with the EWS quota implementation is also something that is said to be disputed. The Ministry of Education had earlier declared that a figure amounting to Rs 1,436.73 crore has been allocated for the financial year 2019-20 and 2020-21 to various central universities and eligible affiliated colleges for its implementation.

With no clarity from the UGC or the government regarding these advancements, colleges are still waiting to plan their course of action. Updates to follow.

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Sara Bhasin