Outgoing DU VC makes a parting shot

Says vice chancellor can be described as 'wicked'

“Wicked” is a fitting description for a vice chancellor, said the outgoing Delhi University vice chancellor Dinesh Singh.

Singh, whose last working day would be October 28, was addressing students at a Wednesday varsity conference commemorating 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa.

“Please don’t send him to me for several reasons. I’m not a competent person to guide him. Secondly, he doesn’t know that I’m a vice chancellor,” he said, replying to a question from the audience after his nearly 45-minute lecture on Gandhi’s quest for “truth”.

The questioner, a woman who learns charkha spinning at the varsity’s Gandhi Bhawan, had requested an appointment for his college-going son, who she said is “highly impressed” from Singh.

“Vice chancellor ki paribhasha yahi hoti hai ki wo dusht vyakti hota hai (the only defining characteristics of a vice chancellor is that he is a wicked person),” Singh told the woman.
“But I would like to gift him a book, which he should definitely read.”

On how he followed Mahatma’s principles in his life, he said, “I have already stated that I’m not even on Gandhiji’s path. I can only tell you that I consider myself fortunate because after getting married I tried to identify my shortcomings and weaknesses.”

Singh during his perhaps last address as a DU VC said it pains him that students are not aware about the “life lived by Gandhiji”.

“Students have an impression of Gandhi, but that it is very deep,” he said and urged students to source “behavioural skills” from the Mahatma’s life.

The VC also suggested books on Gandhi.

Singh’s five-year term has courted several controversies, including the introduction of now-scrapped four-year undergraduate programme.

The programme taught students a course on “Integrating Mind Body and Heart”, centred on the ideology of the Father of the Nation.

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