To mark the closing of the University of Delhi’s centenary celebrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually laid the foundation of three new buildings. The event was broadcast live throughout all DU campuses via screens installed in staff rooms, auditoriums, and other locations, with some colleges issuing guidelines related to attendance and also imposing dress code restrictions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the closing ceremony of DU’s centenary celebration as the Chief Guest and virtually laid the foundation of three new buildings: Delhi University’s Computer Centre, Faculty of Technology, and Academic Block. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also attended the event as the Chief Guest. The event, which took place from 11 AM to 1 PM, was broadcast live in almost all DU colleges via screens installed in staff rooms, libraries, auditoriums, etc. Several DU colleges released guidelines for their students, including guidelines regarding compulsory attendance, dress code, extra attendance to attendees, etc.
Participation in the event was declared mandatory in a notification issued at BR Ambedkar College, whilst a notification released at Zakir Hussain College said that the signatures of all the attendees will be sent to the university, adding that it’s being done at DU’s behest. Meanwhile, Professors at Hindu College sent students a WhatsApp message promising 5 extra days of attendance as a benefit for their participation in the event. Additionally, the message aims at encouraging students not to wear black clothes.
Several faculty members and students criticized these guidelines on social media. In an article by The Print, Abhigyan, a student of DU, said “Promising grades and attendance have become a regular event in DU. Similar promises related to extra marks in elective subjects for students who participate in yoga day were made.”
The Zakir Hussain College notification, asking all faculty members to turn up by 9 AM reads, “As per the directions of the University of Delhi all staff members other than the newly appointed teachers who are physically present at the multipurpose hall, University of Delhi, are mandatorily required to remain present in the college library to view the valedictory function of the centenary celebrations.”
Concerning the message, The Print contacted Hindu College Principal Anju Srivastav. She said “The administration’s message had been misunderstood, and there was no restriction on the color of clothes. It is not possible to give students extra attendance. However, we would like to see all students and staff turn up for the screening. We only wanted to send the message across that it is a regular working day and students have to come to college.”
Various student Unions criticized the release of these guidelines. SFI released a statement expressing strong criticism about certain notices released by several colleges about the valedictory ceremony. The message read “It is absolutely condemnable for any college to be releasing such dictatorial directives. If making the presence of all students mandatory for the live screening of the event was not exasperating enough, the admin has also asked students to not wear any black dress! It is preposterous that the college and university administration will go to any lengths to curb all sorts of dissent in our educational spaces. In addition to it, baiting students with five attendances in such a manner speaks volumes about the ‘serious’ approach adopted by institutions like Delhi University towards imparting sound, meaningful education to its students.”
Featured Image Credits: Devansh Arya for DU Beat