The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) and the All India Students’ Association (AISA) demanded reopening of colleges in Delhi University. They held a protest demonstration at the arts faculty of North campus on January 18th for their demands. Both the parties, collectively, submitted a memorandum to the Dean of Student Welfare Dr Rajeev Gupta urging the university administration to reopen colleges. They further stressed that although reopening colleges is essential, adequate measures of testing and quarantine centres are a must to ensure student’s safety.
The following demands were also put forth by the protesters:
- Disburse all pending scholarships
- Take immediate action of OBC Commission report
- Provide adequate aids of internet and laptops to all students in need
- Reopen key faculty libraries, including the Central Library, Science Library, Law Faculty Library and the Departmental Library.
- Ensure uniform access to Hindi reading material
- Reopen the Equal Opportunity Cell office, Computer Centre and Science Labs, and the sports ground.
A statement posted by AISA DU on their Instagram page said- “While the Dean maliciously denied the discrepancies committed in the reservation policy implementation and the issues faced by the students, the delegation submitted the memorandum, reiterating the need for the immediate reopening of campuses with all safety measures.”
The members of SFI and AISA were also joined by students around the arts faculty as the protest started, raising slogans for the immediate reopening of libraries and the campus as a whole. The raging digital divide in the wake of covid is what sparked the protest demonstration.
Unnimaya, General Secretary of Lady Shri Ram college and state committee member of SFI Delhi said- “A vast majority of students are unable to access online education. Reopening the campus is the only solution for their crisis. This kind of exclusion is against the ethos of a public university,”