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Best courses, second best faculty

Despite attracting the best of students, the honours courses in mass communication, Computer Science, Business Economics and journalism at DU do not have permanent or regular faculty, reports Swaha Sahoo.Special: Campus Calling

delhi Updated: Jun 09, 2008 13:21 IST
Swaha Sahoo

They are some of the most popular undergraduate programmes of Delhi University and attract the best of students. Despite this, the honours courses in mass communication, Computer Science, Business Economics and journalism at DU do not have permanent or regular faculty.

Slotted as self-financing courses, the programmes do not have sanctioned teaching posts by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and, therefore, mange with ad hoc and contractual teachers. Most colleges running these courses also borrow from existing faculty or make do with guest lecturers.

The B.Sc (Hons.) Computer Science course does not fall in the self-financing scheme, say faculty members. Yet the course that began seven years ago has no regular faculty. “We have 450 seats across 15 colleges and we get the best students,” said Naveen Kumar, Reader at Department of Computer Science, DU. “But colleges find it difficult to get good candidates for ad hoc posts. Ideally, the course requires seven permanent faculty per college,” Kumar said.

According to rules, the UGC makes sure that a course is running successfully over a period of time before sanctioning faculty. But the Bachelors of Mass Media and Mass Communication programme at Indraprastha College has been running since 1999 without permanent faculty. “The department has too much movement without regular faculty. Moreover, teachers from other subjects not only teach journalism students but also handle administrative work,” said Manasvini Yogi, media coordinator at IP.

The B.A. (Hons.) in Business Economics is also suffering a similar fate. Except for two Delhi government-funded colleges running the course the rest do not have regular faculty positions. “Economics and commerce department teachers are teaching along with ad hoc teachers,” said Rashmi Aggarwal, head of Business Economics at DU.

The journalism course at Maharaja Agrasen and Kalindi College do not have permanent faculty either. “Ideally the technical aspects of journalism should be taught by a regular faculty who is available all year round,” said Sunil Sondhi, principal, Maharaja Agrasen College, which has been teaching B.A. (Hons.) journalism for 10 years.

Dean of Colleges Nayanjot Lahiri said UGC had asked colleges to send in proposals in the 11th plan. “The UGC chairman has asked colleges to include the requirements for permanent faculty in the 11th plan. They should get the sanction soon,” Lahiri said.