Eleven teachers of Delhi University’s Academics for Action and Development on Tuesday wrote to Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh seeking his intervention after the College of Art started its admission process as a part of the Ambedkar University. The College of Art offers graduate and post-graduate courses in fine arts.
In a notification issued on May 11, Suresh Babu, Dean of Student Services, Ambedkar University, stated that the admission process for various programmes offered by the College of Art for the 2022-2023 academic session will be carried out as a part of Ambedkar University, Delhi. In a letter, the 11 teachers, including members of the DU’s Executive Council and Academic Council, said such an “unfortunate action” of the Ambedkar University is in contravention of the Acts and Statutes of the Delhi University.
This comes amid an ongoing tussle between the Delhi University and the Delhi government over the affiliation of the art college. In March last year, the Delhi government announced the College of Art would be affiliated with Ambedkar University, as the college was facing various problems.
Ambedkar University is funded by the Delhi government. Admissions could not be held at the College of Art during the last academic session due to an affiliation issue.
DU Academic Council member Alok Pandey said the Ambedkar University recently held a meeting in which it announced that admission to the College of Art will begin as part of the Ambedkar University. The letter claimed that Ambedkar University’s action violates the decision of the Executive Council which has duly rejected the de-affiliation of the College of Arts from the Delhi University.
“It should be noted the Lt Governor has ruled that any such step towards merger is subject to the de-affiliation of College of Arts from Delhi University,” the letter stated. Calls and texts to Ambedkar University Vice-Chancellor Anu Singh Lather went unanswered.
DU VC Yogesh Singh said his university has asked the College of Art to conduct admission as a part of the Delhi University. “I am not aware of it (the college starting admission under Ambedkar University). But we have asked the College of Arts to conduct it as a part of Delhi University. We are waiting,” he said.
The Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) urged the Delhi government not to shift or discontinue the College of Art in the name of merging or shifting it to Ambedkar University and withdraw all its earlier orders as well as the latest admission notice of May 11.
“DUTA also demands that the university must convene an emergent meeting of the Executive Council to consider and adopt a resolution to take over the College of Art if the Government of NCT Delhi is reluctant to fund this premier college,” the statement read. In April, the DU had asked the College of Art to start the admission process and had informed the institute that it will not be de-affiliated from the university. The office of the lieutenant governor had earlier given in-principle approval to the merger of the College of Art with the Ambedkar University subject to its de-affiliation from the DU.
However, the Executive Council of the Delhi University, which is its highest decision-making body, refused to de-affiliate the college.