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Birth pangs of a new university

Five hundred students. Ten programmes. And a temporary campus at Kashmere Gate. Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD), is nowhere close to meeting any one of these targets for the academic year 2010-11, reports Ritika Chopra.

delhi Updated: Apr 01, 2010 00:09 IST
Ritika Chopra

Five hundred students. Ten programmes. And a temporary campus at Kashmere Gate.

Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD), is nowhere close to meeting any one of these targets for the academic year 2010-11.

And the varsity's growth will only get tardier unless AUD gets what it was promised by the state government - its temporary campus at Kashmere Gate.

Announced in 2007, AUD is touted as one of its kind university for its inter-disciplinary approach to academics.

And several renowned academicians -Upendra Bakshi, former vice chancellor of Delhi University, C.R. Babu, Professor Emeritus, Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems and Professor A Desai, former UGC chairperson - are involved in formulating the curriculum of its inter-disciplinary courses.

But nothing can take shape as AUD hasn't yet been allotted the campus currently occupied by IP University.

So against the projected target, the state university, instead, will manage to offer just six programmes to a total of 350 students at its small makeshift campus (ground and third floor of a building occupied by Integrated Institute of Technology) in Dwarka this year.

"IP should have moved to its new campus in Dwarka by August 2009. But it couldn't as the contractors did not meet the deadline. Ambedkar University should get a small foothold in the IP campus very soon," said Anand Prakash, principal secretary, training and technical education, Delhi government.

AUD, meanwhile, has had to deliberately slow down its progress. The varsity, for instance, had to temporarily freeze its faculty recruitment as there wasn't enough space to accommodate them at the Dwarka Campus.

"I am not blaming anyone as the delay has occurred because of unavoidable circumstances," said Vice Chancellor Shyam B. Menon.

"We are vary of offering more courses as we have to repeat the ones we started last year. That doubles our student population. We need more infrastructure," he added.

AUD is currently offering masters in development studies, psychosocial clinical studies and environment and development. It is functioning out of three classrooms and one multipurpose room on the third floor of Integrated Institute of Technology, Dwarka.

It has recently been given the ground floor as well, which will enable them to offer another three programmes from the new academic year.