DU principals meet UGC chairman, suggest dialogue to end deadlock
The logjam at Delhi University continued for the second consecutive day with neither of the two warring sides – the university or the University Grants Commission (UGC) – agreeing to budge from their stand on Tuesday. Amidst confusion and one-upmanship between the confronting parties, an initiative has been taken by college principals to end the crisis. A delegation of principals met UGC chairman Ved Prakash in this regard.
Sometime late afternoon, the news came that vice-chancellor Professor Dinesh Singh has decided to quit, leading to celebrations among teachers and students opposing implementation of FYUP. However, around 6 pm in the evening, Pro-VC, Professor Sudheesh Pachauri, told media persons that VC’s colleagues and well wishers have prevailed on him not to take any hasty step.
According to sources, till the time of going to press no resignation had been forwarded by the VC’s office to the office of University Visitor that is the President of India.
On the other hand, a statement was issued by Professor Ved Prakash in the evening claiming that 57 of the 64 DU colleges have agreed to abide by the commission’s guidelines. However, on making independent queries from the principals of at least three colleges mentioned in the list, it was found that no such undertaking has been given as yet.
‘The university of Delhi vide its letter dated 23rd June, 2014 has forwarded the Orders of the UGC to all the college principals numbering 64 in total, which had offered FYUP last year. Out of these 64 colleges, as many as 57 colleges have sent their replies to the UGC informing that they are complying with the directives,’ the statement of UGC chairman said. The principals said they would comply with the directive provided the guidelines for admissions (into three-year courses) comes from the university.
This point was reiterated by the principals’ delegation which met the chairman on Tuesday requesting him not to write directly to the colleges and resolve the issue at the earliest to facilitate the start of admissions.
To sort out the ongoing tussle between DU and UGC, the Principals Association also suggested a way out. ‘The tussle between DU and UGC can be sorted out through dialogue,’ said SK Garg, president of Principals’ Association. ‘The new four year courses like B Tech in humanities should be retained while FYUP should be rolled back for old under graduate courses like BA , BSc, B Com etc,’ he added suggesting common ground for dialogue between DU and UGC. The DUTA President Nandita Narain also echoed the views of the Principals’ Association. Meanwhile, supporters of the FYUP led by former DUTA president Aditya Narain Misra went on 24-hour hunger strike demanding protection of the autonomy of the university.
Thousands of students coming from faraway lands are deeply upset by the chaos occurring at the University of Delhi (DU), which compelled the colleges to put the admission process on hold.
Despite the shock of the first cutoff list – scheduled to be announced by colleges on Tuesday morning – getting deferred, students still expected the confusion to tide away by evening. ‘We reached here in the morning, expected to get the admission done and return by tomorrow (Wednesday), for which we had booked seats too. Now, that has to be cancelled,’ says Shivangi Sahu, a student from Bhopal.
Many students have missed their counseling and now they do not have too many options left. ‘I had to come to Delhi so I couldn’t attend my counseling both at Amity Gwalior and the Barkatullah University in Bhopal,’ said Shivangi. She further said, she is not going to any other university now, no matter how much time it takes. Delhi is way too expensive for outstation students who are waiting for the impasse to get over and the admission process to begin. ‘We are staying in a hotel at Paharganj, which charges us Rs 1500 a day for accommodation. But we can’t afford it for more than four or five days,’ said Trishna Borgohain, a student from Digboi in Assam.
It is worse for students who are not expecting to make it to their desired colleges right after the first cutoff list. ‘The second list comes usually five days after the first, so the first cutoff list has to be announced really soon,’ said Debokanto Gohain, father of a student from Tinsukia in Assam.
Some students seemed disappointed enough to go back to their hometowns and study there. ‘I have applied in one of the most reputed colleges in Guwahati. If it doesn’t happen in DU in a week, I shall leave for the counseling there scheduled on 10 July,’ said another student from Assam.
‘We came all over from Bhopal. Hoping to get admission in DU, I left counselling of many colleges. I am in danger zone. My one year is at stake. Why didn’t they inform us before, when they weren’t sure about it,’ asked Shivangi Sahu, an aspirant.