Saturday, October 24, 2020

Amend DU Act to open more colleges: Kejriwal to Centre

West Bengal allows standalone liquor shops to reopen, except in containment zones

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the city needs more colleges and universities, especially in the light of high cut-offs set by most Delhi University colleges for admissions this academic season.

He said he had written to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal seeking the abolition of Section 5(2) of the Delhi University Act, 1922 so that new colleges and universities can be opened here.

The Act, made during the British era, states that a new college needs to be affiliated with Delhi University. This was amended in 1998 and allowed IP University to allow affiliation. Since then, IP University, which also has 127 affiliated colleges, has surpassed its capacity.

“There is a need to amend this Act further. Today I wrote a letter to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and appealed to delete the section in order to facilitate opening new colleges in the city for students across the nation,” he said.

With cut-offs touching 100%, what will happen to students who secure less than 95%, he asked. “If we only talk about Delhi, every year 2.5 lakh students pass Class XII. However, only 1.25 lakh students can secure admission in Delhi colleges. If we talk numerically, it means two students are fighting for one seat, leading to cut-throat competition, leaving behind the other 1.25 lakh students without any resources. This means that colleges in Delhi can only accommodate 50% of students. Where will the other 50% go?” the CM asked.

“Students trying to get admission in colleges are facing trouble given the 100% cut-offs. High cut-offs are not the fault of students, it’s our fault — the Delhi government, previous governments and Central government. This is happening because of the lack of universities and colleges in Delhi in comparison to the ever-rising number of students. There is a stark imbalance in the ratio of the number of universities to the number of students,” he said.

‘Govt. ready to invest’

The Delhi government, he said, was ready to invest in these but there was a legal impediment. Delhi University already has 91 affiliated colleges and has not opened a new college in the last 30 years as it has already exceeded its capacity, he added.

“I am hopeful that the Central government will definitely ponder over this and will definitely alter this act to suit the need of the hour. I believe the stress factor is escalating in students because of this system,” he also said.

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