He may have ensured India’s win in the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, but team captain Unmukt Chand is struggling to retain his BA seat at St Stephen’s College due to low attendance. As Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni tweeted his support, Sports Minister Ajay Maken spoke in his favour and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal spoke to DU Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh in this regard, the news has stirred a fresh debate on campus. Sportpersons studying in other colleges claim that the varsity is not sports-friendly.
“At the time of admission, we are promised that our attendance will be taken care of, but we have to at times sign bonds to sit for exams,” says Abu Bakr Bhat, a basketball player at Hans Raj College. “We are out for tournaments so we can’t attend all classes. The promise of giving us sports quota attendance is false. We are with you, Unmukt,” says Gaurav Kahlol, a student of Hindu College. “Delhi University is not a place for sportspersons. It’s not only Unmukt, this is our story too.It’s totally unfair that you are representing your country and still not allowed to sit for exams,” says Geo Varghese, another DU student.
The case now lies with the varsity’s administration. Valson Thampu, principal St Stephen’s college says, “University administration will now decide as it is a matter of the varsity’s rules of attendance.” Mukesh Aggarwal, joint secretary, DU Sports Council (DUSC) — which issues recommendations in such cases, maintains, “We recommended the college authorities to allow him to sit for exams. We can only send a recommendation as the final authority doesn’t lie with us.” P C Jain, principal of Shri Ram College of Commerce, says, “If he doesn’t abide by the rules right now, then how will he become a law abiding citizen? However, he should be treated as a special case and be given the 5 mark benefit in internal assessment for his good performance in sports.” However, I S Bakshi, principal of Dyal Singh College, says, “The main motive of the university is to give excellent education. They should remember it’s not a sports college.”
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