Recently the Delhi government made a pitch to take away the College of Arts from DU and affiliate to the Ambedkar University; which subsequently faced a backlash from the teaching community, including the AAD.
On Tuesday, March 2nd 2021, the Delhi government merged 13 government institutes to create the Delhi Skills and Entrepreneurship University to boost higher and technical education. The cabinet also approved the merger of Delhi University’s College of Arts, and the Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management. The statement exemplified that they all would be a part of Dr B.R. Ambedkar University.
Delhi Government is committed to expanding the skilling opportunities for our youth. These mergers will make the skilling ecosystem more efficient and raise the employability and skilling prospects of our youth.The Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia in a press conference on Tuesday.
In response to this, Academics for Action and Development (AAD) subsequently released a press statement condemning the decision of the Delhi state cabinet.
As per the official press statement, the AAD strappingly opposes the Delhi state cabinet decision to take away College of Arts from DU and affiliate it to Ambedkar University, Delhi. They regard this move as a one-sided attack upon the University, with no regards to DU’s statutory provisions. The AAD allege this decision to be a part of a larger design to disintegrate the unity of the University of Delhi into fragments. This is a part of a larger design to disintegrate Delhi university into pieces. As per the AAD, the Delhi university is an integral whole and no unit can be disassociated away from DU, this can adversely disturb the high-quality academic balance achieved by the collective efforts of all the units.
The AAD stresses that DU management should not repeat its laxity as previously portrayed in the case of NSIT. The AAD demands the respective proposal should be repealed by the DU.
The members of the Academic Council, as well as the Executive council of DU, remonstrated against the decision of the state cabinet. They wrote a collective letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Delhi University, Prof. P.C Joshi. In the letter, the protesting members stated, “We strongly oppose the decision of the State Cabinet to merge Delhi College of Arts with the B R Ambedkar University. Such an attempt at de-affiliation of DU colleges leading to the dismemberment of the University of Delhi is in contravention to the Acts, Statutes, and Ordinances of DU, which must be stopped at all levels. We urge you to take immediate and necessary steps to halt this unwarranted process.”
This is a unilateral attack on the university disregarding the statutory provisions of DU, which is an integral whole. No unit will be allowed to be taken away from DU as this will adversely affect the high-quality academic environment achieved by the collective efforts of all the units. We demand that DU administration should not repeat its slack approach on this issue as was shown in the case of NSIT and nip this destructive design in the bud.Professor Seema Das, a member of the DU Executive Committee stated
The executive member, Professor Rajesh Jha deemed this decision as unilateral; alleging that there was no dialogue with the stakeholders whether it be students, teachers or the faculty member of the respective college. He said, “Delhi University works on certain principles and somebody can’t just walk in or out like roaming around in the market. DU has attained a high benchmark through the collective effort of colleges. We feel that this decision is the part of a bigger design to weaken the University; to make it easy prey for the government propaganda of privatization and contractorization.”
He also pointed out the laxity of the Government regarding the release of appropriate funds. Adding Professor Jha held, “This decision is against the very principles of the statuary bodies and we think rather than deeming this decision as a political one it should be considered upon the academic lines. This decision is very dangerous not only for the unity of the University itself but also for the respective College’s academic framework.”
The DUTA also slammed the Delhi Govt for overreach and misgovernance in Delhi University, also demanding the immediate withdrawal of notifications of appointment of Delhi Government officials in these colleges
The DUTA condemns in the strongest terms the attempt by the Delhi Government to take away the College of Art under Delhi University to affiliate it with Ambedkar University. This is yet another example of the total disregard for the statutory provisions of Delhi University by the Delhi Government and reveals its highhanded attitude in dealing with issues of governance in colleges under Delhi University funded by it. This can be seen as a continuation of the attempts to push premier and specialized institutions into the self-financing mode with no responsibility to fund as was done in the case of DTU and NSIT.The DUTA itemized in their official press note.
Earlier last week, the Government had assigned an additional charge of the 12 colleges fully funded by it to officials of the Delhi Government without any clear indication to colleges as to what the role of these officials would be. The DUTA alleges financial misgovernance in these colleges, deeming this act as a highly condemnable and illegal act of the Delhi Government.
The gross interference in the administrative functioning, as termed by DUTA, also links to the appointment of Administrative Officers (AOs). DUTA assert it as a blatant violation of statutory provisions and is aimed at further harassing the institutions and the teachers and karmacharis of these institutions. As per DUTA, the government of Delhi has been pulling the wool on the public’s eyes regarding the release of appropriate funds. It added that the release of the appropriate fund is necessary for the financial sustenance of these respective stakeholders.
The notice also exemplified, “The non-release of grants has also affected the academic and administrative day-to-day functioning of these institutions, infrastructure development and maintenance impacting the functioning of these institutions in myriad ways. The DUTA has been repeatedly pointing out that inordinate and unexplained delays in the release of the grant have had a crippling effect on these institutions, which are amongst the best colleges of the country and teachers, students and employees will not tolerate this willful destruction of these premier institutions.”
Feature Image Credits: Hindustan Times