A meeting of the Executive Council (EC), discussing significant DU centric agendas took place on 26th February, Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. in the council room at the Vice Regal Lodge, Delhi University (DU).
Some of the primary agendas that were to be discussed in this emergent meeting include drafting a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between DU and Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Government of India regarding the declaration of DU as an institution of Eminence (IoE). Apart from this implementation of the IoE proposed in the previous meeting would also be thought further. The creation of the post of Director General, IoE and consequential amendments to the relevant Statutes and Ordinances is marked as another separate agenda for the meeting.
The Academics for Action and Development (AAD) is in strong disapproval of this meeting to to impose IoE. It claims of this conference as a hastily taken step to get the agenda put forward by the authority rubber stamped. Calling it as another arbitrary action violating the rules and regulations of DU, Richa Raj, Co Press Secretary, AAD, said, “As per the DU statutes, the Registrar is the ex-officio Member-Secretary of EC and authorised to convene the meeting. When there is no Registrar in the university, how can this meeting be convened? The membership of Five statutory university officials and three elected members from the court are also vacant and such a truncated EC can not alter the nature and structure of DU, which IoE intends to do.”
As per AAD the implementation of the new economic policy (NEP) has already begun and the imposition of the IoE is just an attempt for its implementation in a complete and organised manner. The Vice Chancellor (VC) paying no regard to the grievances of teachers in context to the absorption and promotion with counting of ad hoc experience, inspite of their month long struggle is just absorbed in the attempts aiming at privatization of higher education in India.
SBN Tiwary, Co Press Secretary, AAD, informed, “The DU is going to implement the Board of Governors (BOG) ruled autonomous structure within the DU in the name of “Eminence”, where this institute would receive a grant of Rs. 1000 Crore in ten years from the center directly and their matters will never see the critical scrutiny of EC, AC and Finance Committee (FC). It is interesting to note that the IITs under this scheme have received only Rs. 48 Crore in two years out of the sanctioned Rs. 1000 Crores.”
Some of the significant consequences that the implementation of the IoE will include the diversion of attention from the faculty and stake holders of the university, which will cause only a parallel structure to receive the entire limelight and government patronage. AAD predicts that after a few years even the BOG governed parallel structure will be left on it’s own terms of grants and maintenance.
Rajib Ray, President, Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), expressing his views about the same, said, “The DUTA stands categorically opposed to the DU VC’s hasty and authoritarian move to pawn away the University’s future by submitting a proposal for the Institution of Eminence (IoE) status without seeking discussion or prior statutory approval in the Academic Council and Executive Council.” In its official press statement, DUTA mentioned that though the VC called the eminent meeting to seek formal approval for the IoE, he didn’t provide the statutory authorities with the time to make up their minds and debate the implications of the proposal.
The proposal is nothing but a clear cut blueprint for steady commercialisation of the university through an undertaking to start self finance courses and full online degree programs. Rajinder Singh, Secretary, DUTA, further informed of the proposal undertaking to hike students fees and employing 20 percent foreign faculty, on an incentive based differential pay structure. DUTA warns the VC from going ahead with a proposal that alters the character and dilutes the core priorities of Delhi University. Further, the proposal binds DU in an obligation to raise 95 crore rupees towards meeting recurring expenses like salaries and 350 crore rupees towards non-recurring capital expenditure by 2025.
“None of these provisions have been discussed in the Academic or Executive Council. In fact, the proposal attempts to replace these existing statutory bodies by an ‘independent’ Governing Council that has no elected representation of teachers, students or karamcharis. None of the representative bodies of these primary stakeholders have been consulted while drawing up this draconian proposal,” was revealed by Mr. Ray.
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives