Push to change DU act: Not enough seats for students from capital, Kejriwal asks Centre to change ‘colonial’ law

Delhi University's Lady Shri Ram College had announced 100% cut-off for Psychology, Economics and Political Science. The cut-off was 99% and higher in 30 other courses across colleges.

Lamenting the skyrocketing cut-offs, including 100% for certain courses, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday said he has written to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal to make changes in the DU Act to enable opening of more colleges and universities in the capital.

The CM said many colleges and universities need to be started in Delhi to accommodate students clearing Class XII in the capital, but added that there were legal hurdles.

Delhi University’s Lady Shri Ram College had announced 100% cut-off for Psychology, Economics and Political Science. The cut-off was 99% and higher in 30 other courses across colleges.

“Class XII students who wish to take admission in colleges are facing many problems. If the cut off is 100%, where will the other students go? They also have a right to higher education. Why are there such skyrocketing cut-offs? It’s not the students’ fault, but ours. All the governments are responsible; all the governments that have come to power in Delhi, including us, as well as the Central government,” Kejriwal said.

“This is happening because there is a severe dearth of colleges and universities in Delhi. Seats are falling short and the number of students is going on increasing. Growth of colleges and universities should have kept pace with the rising number of students,” he said.
Kejriwal said that in Delhi, around 2.5 lakh students pass Class XII every year, of which around 1.25 lakh are able to get admission in Delhi colleges.

“Where will the other 1.25 lakh students go? This means for Delhi students, there is only 50% capacity; two people are fighting for each seat. There is a need to open many universities and colleges in Delhi. We (Delhi government) are ready to make the investment, open colleges but there is a big legal hurdle in front of us,” he said.

Kejriwal said DU has 91 affiliated colleges and institutions and IP University has 127 affiliated institutions and colleges. “The DU Act was made by Britishers in 1927. In the Act, it is written that if any new college is opened in Delhi, it can only be affiliated to DU and no other university… In the last 30 years, DU has opened no new college. It’s not possible also as their capacity is full,” he said.
“In 1998, there was a slight amendment where it was said that along with DU, colleges can also be affiliated to IP University… Here also the capacity is full. So it is necessary to change this law made by the British. The country has moved miles ahead. Our children need higher education. We have improved school infrastructure but we now want to open many more colleges and universities,” he said.
In his letter to Pokhriyal on Friday, Kejriwal said he has asked for deletion of section 5(2) “so that new colleges and universities can open in Delhi”.

“Students from all over the country come to Delhi to study, we need to open colleges and universities for them too. I hope that the Central government will deliberate on this issue, and do away with this colonial law,” he said.

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