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Shrinking spaces, longer weeks

Increased class hours, unending Saturdays could be the scene in July as colleges cut corners to accommodate more students under OBC quota, reports Ritika Chopra.

delhi Updated: Jun 03, 2009 23:58 IST
Ritika Chopra

For students of Delhi University (DU), an average day at college this year may soon turn out to be longer than imagined.

With infrastructure expansion plans not having taken off yet, colleges are keen on increasing their class hours on weekdays in an attempt to cater to the increased student population in wake of OBC (Other Backward Caste) expansion.

And you can also say goodbye to lighter weekends as practical lessons, unlike earlier, will also be scheduled on Saturday.

Till the last academic session colleges did have classes on Saturday, but they were only theory lessons and would end around lunch time.

Come July, students of institutions such as Ramjas College, Hansraj College and Daulat Ram College will find themselves attending classes till late afternoon. Gargi College and Hindu College are also thinking of joining the club.

“We are reworking our timetable to accommodate the extra work load. Classes usually go on till 2.30 pm on weekdays. The day will now end around 4.30 pm,” said Rajendra Prasad, principal, Ramjas College.

“The capacity of our labs is limited and number of students are increasing each year,” said SR Arora, principal, Hansraj College. “We don’t have a choice but to keep labs open on Saturday.”

Changes in working hours are being made on the recommendation of the university. The suggestion came in August last year in shape of a letter sent to all affiliated institutions by the Dean of Colleges.

The letter (a copy of which is with HT) states: “When drawing out the infrastructure expansion plan, please take account of possibilities relating to a more effective use of classrooms and other infrastructure through rationalisation of timetable, full utilization of the working day….. and utilisation of Saturdays.”

DU has created 7,000 new seas under the OBC quota this year. The expansion plans of various colleges have not been implemented yet as they are stuck with the DDA, MCD or Urban Arts Commission for approval.

“The university has agreed to provide funds to pay the lab, administrative staff working on Saturdays. This is how we can afford to have labs open on Saturdays,” said Kanan Nanda, principal, Daulat Ram.