Stampede-like situation during the degree-distribution ceremony at DU’s School of Open Learning prompts issue of advisory to past and present students to not attend any event without prior registration.
Delhi University’s School of Open Learning had scheduled a Degree Fair on June 3rd and 4th, 2023 to distribute degree certificates to undergraduate and postgraduate students from the batch of 2022. The two-day long event was to take place at the University Stadium in New Delhi. Prior to the event, students had been asked to book an appointment through the university website to collect their certificates.
However, despite the arrangements, number of students showing up on Day 1 exceeded the venue’s capacity. Videos and photos shared online showed chaotic scenes as students tried to scale the walls of the sports complex.
Around 10,000 students had registered for the first day and adequate arrangements had been made for them. We had distributed a few hundred degrees when suddenly 25,000-30,000 students turned up.
– Uma Shankar Pandey, Officiating Principal, SOL
Students have been queuing up since 6 in the morning. Students crowding on the pavement is making things difficult for us.
– A rickshaw driver in DU’s North Campus notes the disruption caused due to overcrowding
On Saturday, a notice issued by SOL read, “All concerned may please note that the distribution of degree for passing out students of 2022 of SOL through ‘Degree Fair’ scheduled on June 3 and 4 has been stopped with immediate effect due to unavoidable circumstances.” The university has said that the degrees would now be sent by post to students.
I had travelled for 2 hours from Noida to collect my degree but I know of people who came from far-off states all in vain.
– Trigya Agarwal, a student at DU SOL.
Several teacher and student groups have called out the ‘mismanagement’ by the authorities. Krantikari Yuva Sangthan in its press release said “Due to the mismanagement by SOL, a stampede followed as students were arbitrarily not allowed entry to the venue and the event was abruptly cancelled by them. This is not an isolated incident, but among many which keep cropping up regularly.” KYS also calls for resignation of SOL Director Payal Mago and would be organising a protest.
In response, Principal US Pandey has issued an advisory stating that all current and former students should strictly adhere to the registration process before attending any event and refrain from engaging in indecent behaviour and misconduct. This advisory seeks to maintain discipline and protocols during any university-sanctioned event.
Image Credits – Bhavya Nayak for DU Beat