No reservation for Delhi students in DU

During its short-lived tenure in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party Government had raised a demand for reservation for city-based students in the premier Delhi University. 

Now, it seems, the erstwhile Government was not just vocal in its demand, but was keen on implementing it too. 

The Arvind Kejriwal-led regime had already moved the administrative wheels by writing a letter to DU Vice Chancellor Professor Dinesh Singh, requesting a whopping 85 per cent quota for Delhi-domicile students in 12 colleges which are wholly funded by the Government of NCT. 

Also, the Government had demanded 50 per cent seat allocation for Delhi-domicile students in 16 DU colleges partly funded by it.

However, within a month, the DU administration wrotea back tersely saying, “The 
University of Delhi, being a Central University, your proposal for reservation of seats for students passing XII from schools in Delhi cannot be acceded to.” 

This information has now come into the public domain thanks to a Right to Information application filed by a former DU student. 

Abhishek Ranjan, who completed his degree in law from the varsity only this year, had requested the Prime Minister’s Office to provide him copies of any letters exchanged between the Government and Delhi University in this regard. 

In return, he was recently provided documents disclosing the above details. 

Abhishek, who is now works as a member of the Gandhi Fellowship in Rajasthan,told Metrolife, “As a student of the varsity, I was curious to know if any steps had been taken to realise the demand for reservations. On receipt of the documents, I was surprised to see that the process was indeed initiated. In fact, I learnt that strangely, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Government wrote to DU directly, about their demand, when they shouldhave approached the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) instead.”`

“Also,” Abhishek points out, “From the letters it seems, the Government was in a remarkable hurry for the reservation to be implemented as soon as possible. 

They wrote to Professor Dinesh Singh saying that ‘he should convey his decision on the matter at the earliest so that the system can be made applicable from the academic session 2014-15. 

This means that had the Aam Aadmi Party-led Government lasted and continued to insist on its demand, and had DU conceded, we would have probably had the reservations from this very academic year.”

The reasons cited by the Government for its demand for reservations for Delhi-domicile students included lack of institutions of higher-learning in the city, the extra expenditure incurred by parents in Delhi when they have to send their children outstation for further studies and curtailed choice in terms of streams for Delhi-based students.

When Metrolife contacted Delhi University Teachers’ Association president Nandita Narain, she welcomed DU’s refusal to the reservations saying, “We have been against it from the very beginning. There is so much improvement that the Delhi Government can bring about in its own varsities like GGSIPU and Ambedkar. For some reason, they are just stuck on getting more seats for Delhiites in DU. This demand would have spoilt the composite culture of our varsity. We are glad DU saw reason and refused it.” 

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