It is a strong desire for all the students from across the country to study at Delhi University. The reputation of colleges such as Hindu, St. Stephens, Miranda House, Lady Sri Ram, Sri Ram College of Commerce, Hansraj, etc. is such that students want to get into these colleges. Boys and Girls from Bihar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, etc. try to get admission into Delhi University. Students from Bihar for the last 50-60 years have studied in Delhi University and many Bihari students are still enrolled in colleges of Delhi University. But only a few students willing to study in Delhi University are successful in getting admission. The reason being in order to get admission into these colleges a student who clears his or her Class 12 or plus-2 board examination has to excel in the examination and secure a very high percentage of marks. Obviously, lakhs of students don’t get a chance to study at Delhi University due to high cut off marks for admission.
For this academic year, the first list of the cut-off mark for admission is 100 per cent, 99 per cent, and 98 per cent. A large number of students and their guardians are a disappointed lot. Even young boys and girls who are born, brought up and have their schooling in Delhi are also deprived of the opportunity to study at Delhi University because students from all over the country apply for admission. Delhi is a Central University. Meritorious students from all over the country will continue to seek admission in Delhi University. There is no concrete ground for complaint. After all, this country belongs to all of us.
However, the question is how to solve this problem of a few seats and many students. An initiative should be taken to increase the number of seats in Delhi University. One way out is to start evening shifts in all the colleges of Delhi University. At present only a handful of colleges run evening classes. Zakir Hussain College and Dayal Singh College are among them. The question arises how to utilise the space and facilities of these colleges having 8-10 acres of land with potential to increase its academic activities by adding infrastructure for teaching.
Classes and other academic curricula run in day colleges till afternoon. By 2 to 3 p.m. the campus wears a desolate look. Why not start selected evening course in these colleges between 4 pm to 8 pm, to begin with? On average, even when 300 students join the evening shift then thousands of students will get the opportunity to study at Delhi University.
It is not easy to start a new college in Delhi. A minimum of 7-8 acre of land is required and the land is not available. What is the alternative then? The answer is to begin an evening shift in existing colleges. We should start working in this direction with the gradual introduction of evening courses in day colleges. With a time frame of 5 years, all colleges should be covered where evening courses should be available. One added advantage of running evening classes is boys and girls who want to take up some job in the day can study in the evening. Delhi has the advantage of Metro rail service which runs till 11 p.m. beside buses. Evening course will also provide employment to young men and women who want to join the teaching profession. Many universities in foreign countries have evening courses. In India, many people will also get employment in non- teaching departments and in class IV category.
President of Malawi, (an African nation) Bingu was Muharika who was in office from 2004 till 2012 studied in Sri Ram College of Commerce on the scholarship of India and graduated from there. He also did his Master degree course in Economics from Delhi School of Economics.
Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Laureate of Myanmar studied in Delhi and did her graduation from Lady Sri Ram College.
Two students of St. Stephens College rose to become President of their respective country. One was Fakhrudin Ali Ahmed and the other was Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan who was a student of St. Stephens in 1941-45.
Delhi School of Economics is a world-class institution and can be said to be Asia’s London School of Economics. Dr. Sukhmoy Chakravarti, Dr. Mrinal Datta Choudhary, Dr. A L Nagar, Prof. T C A Anant, Prof. Abhijit Banerjee, and Ramj Singh are few names who have been India’s top economists and teachers. Dr. V K R V Rao founder of Delhi School of Economics had roped in some eminent economists of the country in the Faculty. There are many more names in the field of sports, acting and corporate world who are the product of Delhi University.
As of now, the initiative in opening evening courses can succeed only when all the departments concerned and the government take a serious view of the project. Simply by holding meetings and making announcements will not do. At the same time, the need of the hour is to enhance the teaching standard of other universities of the country by recruiting eminent teachers in their faculties. Some 50-60 years ago, meritorious students of not only from India but also from Asian countries used to rush to Banaras Hindu University, Allahabad University, Calcutta University, and Madras University for higher education. It is a matter of concern to see that many teachers today after getting jobs to stop reading and teaching let alone engage in meaningful research work. Teachers are makers of a new generation. They should perform their duty religiously. If it is done many Universities would become like Delhi University.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of AFTERNOON VOICE and AFTERNOON VOICE does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.