4000 new undergraduate seats have been added to the colleges affiliated to the Delhi University. This is due to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category introduced following the directives issued by the government in January 2019.
RISE IN THE NUMBER OF SEATS
This year the total number of seats will be 70,000 compared to last years’ 66000 seats. Even last year the number was increased from 2018’s 55,000 to accommodate the 10 per cent EWS reservation.
The increase in the number of seats can pose issues and problems for the Delhi University constituent colleges. This can be due to the fact that there is already a severe lack of infrastructure in most colleges. There is also an apparent shortage of faculty to cater to the growing number of students.
The Principal of Ramjas College, Manoj Khanna told the Print, ” Our college has an extra building ready to accommodate the additional number of students… but there are no funds to get the extra benches. At present this is not a looming issue, because students are not coming to college, but when all of them do come in, how will we manage?” He added that the promised funds for implementation of the EWS category have not been provided to many colleges.
It should also be noted that Delhi University has approximately 4500 ad hoc faculty members and there is a severe lack of permanent faculty to deal with the added burden of more students on campus.
The current pandemic has further added problems in this situation. Managing online learning resources has already been an issue. Still, as long as online teaching will continue, more students can be accommodated. But colleges will have to prepare to open campuses with proper social distancing and sanitization norms in place. In such a scenario, handling extra students in already overcrowded campuses will prove to be a task. Infrastructure will have to be developed and more investment into thermal scanners, maintenance of washrooms, soaps and sanitizers would be required.