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DCAC Launches Courses Without UGC Approval: Students Face Uncertainty

As DCAC faces administrative and financial issues by launching three new courses without prior approval from the UGC, the academic careers of the 75 students enrolled in these courses look uncertain. 

In the 2020 academic session, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce enrolled 75 students in three new courses- BA (Honours) [H] Hindi, BSc (H) Computer Science, and BSc (H) Mathematics- without prior approval from the UGC.

DCAC’s Principal, Anuradha Gupta wrote an email to the UGC on 7th September seeking permission to launch the three new courses. Without getting a reply, the college admitted 75 students – 32 in BA (H) Hindi, 23 in BSc (H) Computer Science, and 20 in Mathematics. 

The UGC has rejected this application twice. DCAC was denied permission in the reply they received on 11th November. 

DCAC’s former Principal, Rajiv Chopra had also requested the UGC on 24th May 2017 to sanction funds and posts for the introduction of the same courses. In August 2018, the UGC declined this request and expressed its inability to bear any additional costs. It said the college might offer the three new courses approved by the University of Delhi within its existing sanctioned strength of both teaching and non-teaching staff.

Following this, Rajiv Chopra had abandoned the plan, However, Anuradha Gupta went ahead with it, despite UGC’s rejection. The current Principal sent another letter to the UGC on 23rd November 2020 seeking approval for the courses. Once again, no permission was given for the same. 

On 15th December 2020, UGC education officer Shalini, in her reply to Anuradha Gupta wrote: “With reference to your letter dated November 23, 2020, on the subject above (Introduction of new courses at Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, University of Delhi from academic session 2020-21), I am directed to inform you that the UGC had considered the request of the college of starting of new courses approved by University of Delhi and conveyed its decision vide letter dated September 5, 2018. Further in response to DCAC email dated September 7, 2020, UGC through its letter dated November 11, 2020, informed that the posts sanctioned under OBC expansion scheme cannot be utilized for starting of new courses.” 

Now DCAC again through its letter of November 23, 2020, requested to convey approval for new courses. In this regard, it is once again reiterated that the college may start the new courses, however, UGC shall not bear any additional financial liability. Further, the college shall not utilize the posts sanctioned by UGC for ongoing courses as well as under OBC expansion scheme during first and second tranche for the said courses.

Meanwhile, DCAC faculty Amrit Kaur Basra was appointed the ad hoc principal of the college. However, Anuradha Gupta moved the Delhi High Court against this appointment. Her petition contained: “The petitioner took various initiatives to improve the standard of teaching in the college and also introduced various courses which had the approval of the UGC.”

Vikash Gupta, the DU registrar, told the Times of India that he had referred this matter to the University’s Dean, students’ welfare “so that the students are not put to any disadvantageous position.”

Srikant Pandey, an associate professor of Political Science at DCAC had filed a complaint with the UGC alleging that the college administration had illegally diverted posts to start the three new courses. He told the Times of India, “Anticipating uncertainty of the prospects of the courses and its impact on financial health of the college, the teachers’ association of the college convened an emergency meeting on December 31. Dr. Gupta, despite being a member, did not attend the meeting. Having left with no other alternative, the association has requisitioned the emergent meeting of the statutory body (staff council) to take remedial measures. The notice for the same has been sent to the principal who is the chairperson of the staff council. The meeting has not been notified till date.”

As of now, DCAC is walking on a tightrope with a possible financial debt on one side and the uncertain academic career of 75 students on the other. 

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Kashvi Raj Singh

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history.Freedom to Express.