Sheila Dixit


The infrastructure and development that smiles across the grand old city of Delhi, has received a new face of direction, but the previous grace has an angle that must not be forgotten.

The Delhi Legislative Assembly Polls of 2020 saw a ‘big broom sweep’ across constituencies with the people’s mandate affirming the development model put forth by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and it’s Supremo, Arvind Kejriwal. but is this the first time in Indian or Delhi politics at all?

The country broke with a ‘new wave’ of politics when incumbent Delhi Chief Minister (CM), Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP were declared as the unanimous voice of Delhi’s electoral population, inclining them for a third consecutive term after a complete term and an incomplete term, previously. Standing against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC), Kejriwal defied anti-incumbency which has been sought to be the irrefutable force in elections.

With faces like Home Minister, Amit Shah, and other national leaders of BJP standing against AAP with the ‘reputation’ they hold, winning the elections should be considered a feather in AAP’s hat; their previous term and campaign was called ‘unique’ by many for the welfare schemes and development it brought in the state, particularly in education and health care sectors. But, as to these changes taking place for the first time, Delhi itself shunned out this claim, Congress Stalwart and former Delhi (CM), Sheila Dikshit served the state for three consecutive full terms, and in many regards changed its course for the better. Akin to Kejriwal, she was elected as Delhi’s Chief Minister at a time when an opposition party was in power at the center and Atal Bihari Vajpayee was as popular a leader as Narendra Modi is.

Rising amongst contestants like Shushma Swaraj, Madan Lal Khurana, and Sahib Singh Verma, Dikshit was elected as Delhi’s CM first in 1998 and again in 2003, and 2008 with full majority, her work towards Delhi’s development is well appreciated by everyone, despite of party affiliations and ideologies.

The champion of Delhi’s development and planning held a positive approach in almost every aspect of governance, from empowering Delhi’s power supply which was in a fix before 1998, to solving the problem of lack of public transport – our beloved Delhi Metro saw its existence during Dikshit’s term and is lauded all over for the revolution it brought in the lives of commuters.

The DTC bus also lends its current stature and fleet numbers to Dikshit and so does the adoption of CNG; her vision for the promotion of alternative gases to combat pollution was done at a time when the notion couldn’t cross the periphery of textbooks. The flyovers and roads that have been built across Delhi-NCR are the testimonies of her path-breaking work and perception.

The beautification and aesthetic addendums in Delhi are also a part of her vision which were laid open to welcome the world during the Commonwealth Games that Delhi hosted in 2010, amidst controversies and charges, the smooth conduct and success of the games is endowed with enormous contributions from the then Delhi CM.

Many new schools were added and Delhi continued to be the educational aspiration for many across the nation. The accommodation of everyone was a plan that she adopted in order to improve the education and infrastructure of our country.

Every year, millions also head the capital in hope of employment that was well taken care of by the adoption of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and setup of specified areas, further, healthcare was an important parameter where she did manage to make some significant changes by extending hospitals and employment of doctors and medical practitioners.

Thriving amidst the misogynistic political ambience Dikshit didn’t falter to lose even at the age of eighty, contesting elections and standing firm to her popular reputation. This inspiring political figure passed away on 20th July 2019 but stands out unforgettable in Indian political history.

Feature Image Credits: Deccan Herald

Faizan Salik

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Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, a leading engineering college in New Delhi and currently a part of Delhi University, has now been granted the status of a university and would be called NSIT University, Delhi. The Cabinet meeting which was presided over by the Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, gave its approval to upgrade NSIT into a university. Dikshit said “NSIT, which has emerged as a premier technological institute for education and research in the area of engineering and technology and has carved a niche for itself nationally and internationally.”

She further added that the upgradation shall improve the standard of education of students and boost up the quality of students. It has been agreed by the Delhi Government as well as the Board of Governors of NSIT that in the process of transformation of NSIT into a State university, the name ‘NSIT’ would remain intact thereby maintaining a brand linkage with the past.

Presently, the institute is affiliated to University of Delhi for its academic programmes. The institute has at present six under-graduate programmes in the areas of technologies and three post-graduate programmes for M-tech degrees along with research programmes for PHD degrees in all engineering disciplines and applied sciences.

At the very foundation of NSIT, which was formally known as Delhi Institute of Technology (DIT) in 1983, it was envisaged that the institute would eventually aim for becoming a university. It was granted administrative autonomy in 1986 with the direction to keep in mind the long-term goal of achieving the status of a university. The institute applied for the grant of Deemed-University status earlier also, However, Delhi Government was at that time not willing to sacrifice 85% reservation of seats for Delhi students and thus the idea was shelved. But in the recent times the Delhi government has granted university status to many institutes like DTU, IIIT, Ambedkar, G.G.S. IP University and IGIT and now NSIT being a new addition to the list, the government is aiming to make Delhi an educational hub.

However students differ with the government’s decision on many fronts. Many students have shown their discontent by writing mails, meeting government and principal.

Kushal Sagar, one of the student of NSIT apprises that NSIT is not ready for such transformation as it lacks infrastructure. It has been said that the funding given to the institute as a state university would improve and hence the for infrastructural growth will increase but in recent past we have had sufficient funds available for the betterment of our infrastructure but they haven’t been put up to any good use till now. He further added that another blow for the students is the loss of brand value of DU, on which they used to bank upon while applying to foreign universities. This transformation will too have a bearing upon the placements as central universities are given more preference over state universities.

The students also fear that with the introduction of Meta courses and four year degree courses in DU, the quality of students shall deteriorate and they will face more stiff competition from the new changes occurring in the field of science in DU.

The students are of the view that they would have welcomed the change if NSIT would have been upgraded to an NIT or IIT, thereby maintaining the central character and retaining the tag of an ?Institute of National Importance while achieving full autonomy or  the complete control could be passed on to Delhi University.

Some people say that this move was initiated by the government just because the government wants to project to the common man that during their tenure, they have established a number of universities and thus, disregarding the quality they are targeting only on the quantity to gain vote bank. The conversion would result in recruitment of faculty, administrative staff and students on the basis of donation and approach. University will be under the influence of local MLAs and MPs which will lead to deterioration in the quality of education.