At the pre-planned and manipulated AC meeting convened today, the Vice-Chancellor demonstrated to the hilt his complete disregard for the Delhi University Act, Statutes and Ordinances which it is his responsibility to uphold.
Post facto “approval” was obtained for past wrongdoings. Shoddily designed courses prepared by wrongly constituted committees and in blatant disregard for widespread academic concerns were pushed through. And for courses not yet semesterised, the Vice-Chancellor “obtained” the authorisation of the AC to get them done. Several elected members dissented on a number of issues. The text of the dissent note submitted by DTF members with regard to the holding of a “requisitioned” and “emergency” meeting is as follows:
University of Delhi
25 April 12011
We object to the holding of this requisitioned and emergency meeting on the agenda listed. Notice of the meeting was received only in the evening yesterday. In the past requisitions submitted by elected members have repeatedly not been honoured; and yet this time such a meeting has evidently been deliberately planned and convened without giving even one day’s notice in order to deprive members of the possibility of reasoned deliberation on matters of utmost importance. No time was given to consult the concerned teachers about the items on the agenda. For the physically challenged member of this Academic Council the short notice has caused even greater problems since the agenda papers were not provided in an appropriate form to facilitate his reading. We accuse the Vice-Chancellor of complete disregard for democratic functioning, absolute indifference to serious academic issues and utter disdain towards the Delhi University Act, Statutes and Ordinances.
With regard to the items listed we have the following objections:
1. No time has been given for reading the syllabi.
2. The BA Programme Committee, which has members from each college, has not met with regard to the changes in syllabi listed, nor has it constituted any sub-committees to prepare new syllabi for the Application or Foundation Courses. By what procedure and by whom have the BA Programme syllabi proposed been prepared?
3. Proper procedures have also not been followed before sending the listed syllabi of other courses for discussion in the Academic Council:
a. Serious lacunae and irregularities were there in the constitution of the Faculty of Arts the meetings of which were held on 14th and 28th March. The names of members from 25 colleges were missing from the official list of members put out by the University. This is in violation of Statute 9(3)(v) which states that the members of the Faculty will include “One Teacher concerned, by rotation according to seniority, from each College”. The members from these colleges have been denied the right to participate in deliberations about courses to be taught in these colleges. Though this was pointed out by several members at the beginning of the meeting, they were not heeded. The decisions taken in meetings of such improperly constituted statutory bodies cannot be considered valid.
b. Syllabi were “approved” by the improperly constituted Faculty of Arts at both meetings, on 14th and 28th March, without circulating them in advance to members so that no application of mind was possible.
c. The names of members from 14 colleges were missing from the official list of members of the Faculty of Mathematical Sciences which met on 9th March. In this case too there has been a violation of Statute 9(3)(v).
d. Meetings of the Committees of Courses in the Faculty of Mathematical Sciences were held in a surreptitious and hurried manner without any democratic consultation. Colleges were not informed that syllabi had been put on the website, therefore they could not respond. The proposed syllabi was put on the website on 24th February with last date for responses being 2nd March. The Committee of Courses meeting was held on 3rd March and the Faculty of Mathematical Sciences meeting on 9th March.
4. Decisions have been taken through a process of intimidation and threats by the University administration that has vitiated any free deliberation on important academic issues.
5. All this is also reflected in the numerous and grave errors and lacunae in the syllabi on the agenda.
In view of the above, we record our dissent on the decisions of this meeting.
Sheo Dutt, Rakesh Kumar, Renu Bala, Amitava Chakraborty