The Delhi University (DU) is planning to set-up a new campus in the east district of the national capital, officials said, adding it will not only help reduce administrative burden on the north and south campuses but also spur higher education opportunities in the region.
Delhi University has two campuses — North and South, besides several affiliated colleges spread across the city.
DU pro-vice-chancellor (VC) PC Joshi, who is also the acting vice-chancellor, told HT that the new campus will come up in Surajmal Vihar area of east Delhi. “We have land in east Delhi and we are trying to develop that into a campus, just like we have a North and a South campus. We want to have a campus in east Delhi also. The university’s high-powered committee has recently inspected the site and we are holding a meeting on Wednesday to discuss this. We will then take the matter to other statutory bodies of the university for their approval,” he said. The DU had tweeted that Joshi, along with other senior officials, had visited the site on December 5.
The identified land is located near the Karkardooma district courts complex and is accessible by both Blue and Red lines of Delhi Metro.
Joshi said the administration was planning to set up a law centre and departments for liberal arts courses at the new campus. “We have already made a plan but it’s still in a very preliminary stage. The project will cost around Rs 600 crore so we will also have to make provisions for the funds. These things take time but we have started moving in that direction,” he said.
In DU, while colleges offer undergraduate courses, the departments and faculties for postgraduate courses are situated on the campuses. Both North and South campuses also divide the administrative work of the colleges falling in their vicinity. Whereas, the off-campus colleges, those located in east and west Delhi, have to do their daily administrative work in coordination with the North campus.
Explaining the reason behind setting up a new campus, DU dean of College Balaram Pani said that it will not only provide more opportunities for higher education but also help manage the administrative work well. “Currently, the South campus is taking care of the administrative work of 24 colleges and the North campus is looking after the remaining 40-plus colleges. It would become easier for colleges located in east and north-east Delhi to work efficiently, if they will have their own campus.”
Some principals of DU colleges located in east Delhi echoed the sentiment. Payal Mago, principal of Shaheed Rajguru College in Vasundhara Enclave, said, “We have to send someone to the North campus for some administrative work almost daily. Our students also have to travel all the way to the North campus for any grievance. It becomes even more difficult for us to coordinate during examination or admissions. Things will become really easier for us if we get a campus in Surajmal Vihar.”
Several students said that the university should also deliberate over starting new colleges. Dinesh Kumar, member of Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) — a students’ group active in DU — said, “If the university is planning to have a new campus, they should also start new colleges in order to increase undergraduate seats. Every year, so many students, particularly from the marginalised sections, are forced to take admission in distance learning courses due to limited seats in DU colleges.”
Deepak Pental, former vice-chancellor of DU, said the third campus should rather be utilised for new courses or for the School of Open Learning (SoL). “The university doesn’t need to have another campus repeating the same postgraduate courses it is already offering in the other two. The new campus should either offer very different courses or it should be dedicated to the SoL which is already battling poor infrastructure. Besides, the university can set-up as many administrative offices there,” he said.