New Delhi In an effort to build a safer academic space, the administration of Delhi University is mulling to turn the university’s north campus into an ‘integrated campus’ within a year. An integrated campus, on the lines of the Jawaharlal Nehru University or DU’s south campus, would mean that outside traffic or construction of buildings not related to the varsity would not be allowed inside the university premises.
At least three executive council members said the matter was brought up at the university’s executive council meeting on Saturday.
“Vice-chancellor Yogesh Tyagi made an important announcement today that within one year, the north campus would be developed as an integrated closed campus without any thoroughfare. Only university people can enter. The university said it was in touch with different agencies including Delhi Development Authority (DDA), municipal corporation, and Delhi police,” said Rajesh Jha, a member of the executive council (EC), adding that this was once “a major demand of students’ outfits.”
The announcement was made during a discussion on the proposed construction of a 39-storey residential building in the north campus, which has been opposed by teachers and students. Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) had said that construction of a residential complex around DU could “alter the social and cultural landscape of the varsity.” The matter is currently in Supreme Court.
“We have passed a resolution that there should not be any private construction in an academic space,” Jha added.
Another EC member, VS Negi, explained how an integrated campus would ensure a safer campus for students. “North campus is an open campus with multiple entry and exit points. Security, safety, discipline, law and order problems have been the major concerns in DU. The EC resolved to develop a traffic management system to curb this problem by developing alternative underpasses and diversions.”
CS Dubey, director of campus of open learning and a former EC member, who has been associated with the university for over three decades, said, “Maurice Gwyer’s idea was to have an integrated and closed campus, and it has been a longstanding demand. Former VC Moonis Raza tried to work on this during the 1980s. We welcome the university’s decision to work towards this. An academic space cannot function with trucks and cars honking their way around it.”
On Saturday, EC members also raised questions over the proposal put forward by DU administration in 2017 to secure the Institution of Eminence tag. While applying for the status, the university had mentioned setting up nine centres which would have their own fee structures and admission procedures.
Teachers said this would lead to privatisation and said they would not pass the agenda unless they received the proposal submitted to the MHRD for the IOE tag. EC members said the matter has been deferred and the administration will consult stakeholders before sharing the proposal with the council.
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