Amend Delhi University Act, help us start new colleges, CM tells Centre
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said he has written to Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal `Nishank’ in this regard, adding that his government is ready to open new colleges and universities if these legal provisions are removed or eased.Updated: Oct 17, 2020, 04:28 IST
The Delhi government has asked the Centre to do away with certain provisions in the Delhi University Act which it believes acts as a hindrance in opening new colleges in the Capital, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Friday.
Kejriwal said he has written to Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal `Nishank’ in this regard, adding that his government is ready to open new colleges and universities if these legal provisions are removed or eased.
In its election campaign, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) promised that it would start new colleges and universities in the Capital and reserve seats for Delhi residents.
“Students are facing a tough time getting enrolled in colleges because of high cut-off marks. With cut-offs touching 100%, what will happen to students who secure 70%, 80%, 85%, 90%? The problem is that the number of seats in colleges and universities in Delhi has failed to keep pace with the increase in the number of applicants,” said Kejriwal in a video press briefing on Friday.
He added: “Every year, Delhi has around 250,000 students graduating from school, but only around 125,000 of them manage to get admission in Delhi-based colleges. What will happen to the remaining 125,000? Currently, Delhi University has 91 affiliated colleges; Indraprastha University has 127; there are nine universities under the state government; and then there is Jawaharlal Nehru University. We need to start more colleges and universities in Delhi. The Delhi government is ready. But there is a legal issue we confronted with.
This days back to the days of the Raj, the CM explained.
“There is the Delhi University Act which was enacted by the British. Section 5(2) of the law says that any new college in Delhi has to be affiliated to the Delhi University. No new college has been affiliated to Delhi University in the last 30 years. In 1998, an amendment was introduced in the law, and IP University was created for professional courses. But that has reached a saturation point too,” said Kejriwal.
“It is important to change the law. Today, I have written to Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, urging him to remove Section 5(2) of the Delhi University Act so that new colleges can be started in Delhi. It will benefit students. Students are immensely stressed because of the high cut-off that has reached 100%.”
Tens of thousands of students from across the country apply for admission in DU every year. The University has this year received 354,003 applications, the highest ever, for around 70,000 undergraduate seats available in 61 colleges (excluding St Stephen’s and Jesus and Mary College).
Officials in DU said that the University cannot change the law. “The Delhi University act can only be amended through the Parliament and the University administration has nothing to do with it,” said Balaram Pani, DU Dean of Colleges.
Pani said that the colleges cannot fix lower cut-offs at a time when thousands of students are scoring 90% and 95% in class 12 exams. “The cut-offs are being decided on the basis of the marks of the applicants. Despite high cut-offs, more than 40% of the seats in colleges across the DU got filled in the first list itself,” he said.
In CBSE class 12 exams this year, while the number of students scoring 95% and above increased by 118.6 percentage points, those getting 90% and above went up by 67.48 percentage points. This year, Lady Shri Ram College has announced a 100% cut-off for admission in three courses --Political Science, Economics, and Psychology.
Many students cheered chief minister Kejriwal’s argument and said Delhi requires more colleges . Shubham Kumar, 17, a resident of West Vinod Nagar, scored 77% in his board exams. “ I am waiting for the second cut-off list and hoping some colleges reduce their cutoffs. If that doesn’t work, I may have to opt for non-collegiate courses. The government should help students . So many of my friends will not get admission due to the number of colleges. Maybe if more colleges open, students scoring in the 70-80% range have a better chance at going to college,” he said.