DTF opposes proposed reconstitution of DCE as Delhi Technological University
The DTF has sent the following letter to the Visitor. Similar letters have also been sent to the Chancellor, the HRD Minister, the Lt. Governor and the Chief Minister of Delhi and the Vice-Chancellor, University of Delhi.
University of Delhi,
andThe President of India,
Sub: Reconstitution of the Delhi College of Engineering as Delhi Technological University.
We seek your attention to the undesirability of the proposed reconstitution of the Delhi College of Engineering as Delhi Technological University in ‘The Delhi Technological University Bill, 2009’ adopted by the Delhi Assembly. The Delhi College of Engineering is at present affiliated to the University of Delhi.
The proposed reconstitution will have adverse academic consequences for the University of Delhi as well as for the Delhi College of Engineering.
1. With the severing of Engineering faculty from it, the University of Delhi would become academically poorer. It should be noted that the Academic Council of the University of Delhi has on many occasions discussed strengthening of interaction between various disciplines. It has also set the goal for closer interaction between science and technology in an attempt to transcend the established division between the two. Taking away the Delhi College of Engineering would amount to a severe academic setback.
2. The Delhi College of Engineering will also suffer for the same reason once it is cut off from a reputed truly multidisciplinary University.
3. Further, there is a larger issue relating to the idea of a University espoused in the bill. Snatching away quality specialised institutions from existing universities to create specialised ‘universities’ is a matter of concern. The recently submitted Report by Prof. Yashpal committee to the UGC has rightly warned against such specialised universities that lack in basic faculties of sciences, humanities and social sciences.
4. Before introducing the bill, neither the College faculty nor the University of Delhi was asked for its opinion on the issue by the Delhi Government. The refusal to consult the faculty that is going to be the core of the proposed new university calls into question the Government’s sincerity towards academic excellence.
5. Instead of creating much needed new academic institutions, the Delhi Government has in the past repeatedly sought to take away existing ones affiliated to the University of Delhi. A few months back, there was a move to take away regular (non-professional) colleges funded by the Delhi Government for another state university.
6. The intention behind such repeated attempts is to claim that the Delhi Government is committed to expansion in education while it only seeks to turn these institutions into commercial enterprises selling ‘self-financing’ courses to those who can pay.
7. In the case of the reconstitution of the Delhi College of Engineering, the Financial Memorandum accompanying the bill states that there is no need for additional Non-plan budgetary requirements and that for the proposed 300% expansion in intake of students can be met though fees, etc. The entirely self-financed expansion entails the conversion of a reputed public-funded institution into a commercial entity.
8. The Bill deprives the basic right of defence against unfair changes in their service conditions to the existing employees of Delhi College of Engineering and the future employees after reconstitution. Clause 37 of the bill stipulates a Board of Arbitration, heavily loaded against employees. The employees have been denied the right to challenge the decision of the Tribunal.
Much of the existing problems in the Delhi College of Engineering arise from governmental control over the administration of the college. Problems such as not filling up vacancies and delayed implementation (non-implementation) by the Delhi Government of even the last AICTE recommendations on pay and other benefits, authoritarian and bureaucratic control over governance have adversely impacted the institution.
In view of the above we urge you to intervene so that the ill-advised reconstitution of the Delhi College of Engineering does not take place. Instead, positive changes can be made to the status of the college by converting it into a constituent college of the University of Delhi as is the case with University College of Medical Sciences. That would be in the academic interest of both the University of Delhi and the Delhi College of Engineering.
Rajeev Kumar Kunwar